CHAPTER VI.--THE FISHERIES.

II.--GENERAL REVIEW OF EXISTING SITUATION.

B.--Methods. (continued)

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.
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Jerrott's Cove

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 package.

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.

7. EDUCATION.

  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 holidays.

8. RESEARCH.

  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:--

  (a) 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 legislation.

  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:--

  Vol I. 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. February, 1932.
  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.



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