CHAPTER VI.--THE FISHERIES.
II.--GENERAL REVIEW OF EXISTING SITUATION.
3. VARIETY OF PRODUCTS.
318. This is, at present,
very limited. A certain amount of codfish is exported "green" from the
south-west coast to Canada, but Newfoundland's main exports are salted fish.
Practically no attempt is made to produce canned cod, boneless or filleted
cod or smoked cod.
|Jerrott's Cove, Gray [sic] River, Southwest Coast, n.d.
Photo by Holloway. From the album of photographs furnished to the Newfoundland Royal Commission, August 1933. Courtesy of the Centre for Newfoundland Studies Archives (Coll-207),
Memorial University of Newfoundland Library, St. John's, Newfoundland.
4. DISPOSAL OR SALE.
319. The "talqual" system
of buying, which has been in force for many years, to the great detriment of
the industry, has now been prohibited by statutory regulation. No fish is now
allowed to be bought from fishermen except under "cull," i.e., instead of
paying an average price for the fish brought to them, merchants are required
to have each fisherman's catch of fish "culled" or valued according to quality
by a "culler" or valuer. The culler, from whose judgment there is no appeal,
remains, however, an employee of the merchant.
320. No attempt is made to
standardise or grade the product according to size as well as quality. Until
this year there has been no control of shipments to foreign markets. Within
the last few months a regulation has been introduced, prohibiting the shipment
of fish by direct steamer to Oporto, except with the permission of the Salt
Codfish Exportation Board, but no restrictions have been placed on the export
of fish to other markets. There is no provision for the compulsory inspection
of fish packages before export. Foreign markets are apt to be glutted with
fish sent on consignment, and packages frequently contain fish of varying
quality and even of different grade to that marked on the outside of the
5. SYSTEM OF INSPECTION.
321. There is no
organised system of inspection, either of fish premises or of fish.
Some inspection is, on the other hand, made of cod-liver oil, herring
and lobster products, all of minor importance relatively to cod.
6. FISHERY STATISTICS.
322. These are poor,
or lacking, owing to the scattered nature of the fishery and the absence
of organisation. The best obtainable are those compiled from the data of
the Customs Department or by individual firms.
323. Education in fishery
matters is not given. The last year has seen the beginning of a movement for
interesting the youth of the country in the development of the fishery and for
enabling parties of young men to undergo a course of instruction at the
Fishery Research Bureau at Bay Bulls. Two such parties, financed partly by
private enterprise and partly by a religious educational board, have undergone
such a course, but the movement has not yet been followed up. Suggestions have
been made that parties of teachers might undergo a similar course during the
324. There is an
admirable Research Laboratory at Bay Bulls, the origin of which has
already been described. The work of the Laboratory may be summarised
under two headings:--
The continuous study of the availability of the supplies of fish on the grounds,
this involving biological analysis of material specially collected during the
surveys of the fishing grounds made by a steam trawler, used partly as a
research vessel; so that something resembling a census of the stocks can be
maintained, and fluctuations in certain cases traced to their causes with the
object of their being anticipated.
(b) The continuous attempt to introduce improvements in
the methods of handling the raw material of the fisheries, to supervise by
analysis the quality of fish products, to develop new products or by-products,
and generally to aid, by consultation and the supply of the essential facts,
the proper conduct of the fish-trade or the framing of suitable
325. The work of the
Laboratory is explained in annual and other reports, obtainable through
the Department of Marine and Fisheries at St. John's. The following are
the publications to date:--
No. 1. THOMPSON, HAROLD. A Survey of the Fisheries of Newfoundland and
Recommendations for a Scheme of Research. December, 1930.
No. 2. LINDSEY, SHEILA TAYLOR AND THOMPSON, HAROLD. Biology
of the Salmon (Salmo salar L.) taken in Newfoundland Waters in 1931.
No. 3. SLEGGS, G.F. Observations upon the Economic Biology of
the Caplin (Mallotus villosus O.F. Muller). March, 1932.
No. 4. Annual Report. Year 1932. March, 1932.
Vol. II. No. 1. Annual Report. Year 1932. March, 1933.
Image description updated May, 2004.