Page 16

Fishing Arrterica' s Coasts hile explorers, adventurers, ing through the winter and by the 1600s ment regulations and restrictions lead to soldiers, and priests pursued permanent settlements were established the recovery of fish stocks and will there glory, wealth and souls in to service the fishery. When the Pil- be experienced fishermen left to carry Central and South America in the 1500s, grims came to New England, they had on the industry if and when they do? What is clear is that the result of poor capturing the imagination of Europe and been preceded by fishermen who had management has altered the fishing inthe envy of nations lacking the ships and discovered cod on Georges Bank. armies to do the same, an apparently The cod fishery was, perhaps, the last dustry forever. Environmental, biologimundane industry slowly evolved a rich uniquely European fishery to take place cal, technological and political changes tradition of links between Europe and in North America. Fishermen, boats, have guaranteed that. Thus, efforts are tools, methods-all were European in being made to create new jobs and new North America. The trade in salt cod, also known as origin and were not shaped by the ideas methods that will allow the recovery and stockfish, bacalao, morue and poor john, or techniques of natives. However, as continuance of the industry. Sharon Worley's article on the Glouon the Grand Banks off Newfoundland explorers, traders and settlers moved began five hundred years ago. Scandi- south and west, they encountered native cester industry (pp. 20-21) concludes navian, Basque, Portuguese and Bristol fishing cultures. In most cases Native that Gloucestermen will always find a fishermen all have some claim to find- Americans fished close to shore. Euro- way to the sea. One of the strongest groups ensuring that is the Fishering the Banks, as well as the land to meh 's Wives of Gloucester. The the west, before Columbus and women publicize the problems of Cabot crossed the Atlantic. But then, the cod fishery, influence action as now, fishing was a secretive protaken to preserve and restore the fession, and who was going to tell a fishery, increase the appeal of unrival that an unlimited supply of der-utilized fish species and find that most precious commodity, cod, new jobs for fishermen. was there for the taking, just a few They follow in a long tradition weeks' sailing away? - of women actively involved in the Once the word was out, Basque, fishing industry. The wives of the Spanish, French, Portuguese and, men who sailed to the Banks had eventually, English boats could be domestic duties and families to hold found on the Grand Banks from together through the months their March to September. The sheer husbands were away, but they also abundance of the cod and improved Generations of East Coast fishermen spent long days at methods of preservation indelibly sea in small dories using baited hooks to bring in their had economic and political roles in the industry and in their communiaffected the diet and economy of catch. Photo: Alfred Stanford western Europe. ties. As you will note in the fishing But the cod was not the first fishery to peans took it into deep waters and in- articles in this issue women and families influence matters in Europe. The her- creased its scale dramatically, combin- were, and still are, involved in Great ring fishery in the Baltic was a principal ing their own traditions of boat design Lakes and Pacific fisheries as well. Fishing has always been, and remains, factor in the rise of the German Hanseatic and methods of fishing with newly one of the most dangerous professions. League-a trading network that domi- learned American techniques. nated western Europe from the 1200s Recently, maritime museums have In communities where most families through the late 1500s. The demise of begun to look seriously at local fishing were involved in the fisheries , a fierce the Baltic herring stocks contributed to traditions. The demise of the fisheries is storm could be devastating, wiping out the Hansa's downfall and opened new a worldwide crisis with devastating ef- nearly the entire male population of a trading networks that quickly incorpo- fects in many communities. Fishermen village, as you can read in E. Keble rated the new supply of American cod. and their boats are ashore-permanently, Chatterton's account of hi s voyage The cod fishery , perhaps even more in some cases, many say--creating eco- through Holland (pp. 46-47). Small than the gold and silver taken home in nomic dislocation for local businesses wounds caused by incautious handling of hooks, knives or fish could easily Spanish treasure fleets, tied Europe to and related industries. the new lands. Europeans, rich and poor, Museum exhibits are documenting become infected, leading to permanent relied on the cheap, high-protein salt fishing practices of the 20th century and disability or death. The dangers persist despite mechanicod, which eventually also became the drawing attention to the crisis. The Cape primary diet for slaves in the Caribbean. Ann Historical Association, the Wis- zation, increased vessel size and modem Through the 1500s the industry was consin Maritime Museum and the Van- navigation equipment-in June the Coast primarily mi gratory- men sail ed to couver Maritime Museum are featured Guard had to remove from a New Newfoundland in the spring, as soon as in this issue. We plan to cover others in Bedford fishing boat a crewman who had been struck in the throat by a large the weather allowed safe passage. They the future . Each of the accounts provides an hook. The Bureau of Labor Statistics set up temporary quarters on the rocky North American shores and sent dories overview of local fishing traditions but publishes a list of the most dangerous out to fish each morning, or anchored on guides us primarily through the age of jobs. For 1995, commercial fishermen the Banks. After a summer of fishi ng, mechanization and recent environmen- edged out loggers and airplane pilots for salting and drying , everyth ing was tal and political problems. This they all the highest rate of on-the-job fatalities at packed up and the Europeans went back have in common. What they also have in 105 for every 100,000 workers. JUSTINE AHLSTROM home. Gradually individuals began stay- common is uncertainty-will govern-

W

14

SEA HISTORY 82, AUTUMN 1997

Sea History 082 - Autumn 1997  

6 THE CAPE HORN ROAD, XII: The River That Led Around the World by Peter Stanford • 10 NMHS 0PSAIL EDUCATION PROGRAM by Peter Stanford • 12 S...

Sea History 082 - Autumn 1997  

6 THE CAPE HORN ROAD, XII: The River That Led Around the World by Peter Stanford • 10 NMHS 0PSAIL EDUCATION PROGRAM by Peter Stanford • 12 S...

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded