CHAPTER VI.--THE FISHERIES.
1. SCHEME FOR THE RESUSCITATION OF THE DEEP-SEA AND FALL FISHERIES. (continued)
(b) Fall Fishery.
369.--(1) The fall fishery
depends for its success on adequate supplies of bait, which have seldom been
available since squid came to be regarded as the only suitable bait. Two
requirements are therefore essential:--
fishermen must be brought back to the use of herring, which, we learn, was
almost exclusively used as a fall bait 40 years ago.
(ii) The distribution of bait must be efficiently organised-- i.e.,
there must be a regular bait service.
(2) The first requirement
can be met by educational propaganda. The second requirement will involve the
erection by the Government of bait depots at strategic points, such as Bay of
Islands, where supplies both of herring and electric power are available. Six
such depots, each capable of holding 200,000 to 400,000 lb. should be sufficient
for the purpose.
(3) Use might be made, both in the meantime and subsequently, of
certain existing depots operated by private enterprise, such as those at Holyrood
and Burin, which are at present empty. Herring bait could be transferred to
these depots when squid is lacking, and in one of them, at least, large quantities
of well-frozen caplin might be stocked.
||Path-End, Burin, 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) From the six main depots bait would be transferred to the
various bays, as required, and stored in small, electrically refrigerated stores,
ordinary ice-salt freezing chambers, or even in ice, for gradual use. It is very
unlikely that in any one year sufficient squid will be obtained to take up more
than half the space available in the depots. It will be necessary for a
refrigerated vessel to be chartered for two or three months each fall to visit
the fishing grounds where squid is most prolific, to secure all the squid possible,
and thereafter to proceed to Bay of Islands in November and December and obtain
sufficient herring to complete the filling of the bait stores. The bait will
subsequently be distributed--
(a) by schooners
visiting the stores and buying direct for the Bank fishery;
(b) by the refrigerated vessel herself during her ordinary work of
collecting in the fall months;
(c) by Government coastal vessels, as required;
(d) to foreign vessels, if a surplus remains over local needs.
Information as to the amount of bait in
store would be sent out once or twice daily by wireless (as is present done in
(5) Consideration should be given as to whether and how far charges
should be made for bait to other than foreign vessels. It will be seen from
paragraphs 374 and 377 that we have suggested that the undertaking might be
financed, in part, by means of a tax of two cents a quintal on fish
(c) Concurrent Experiments.
370.--(1) It will be seen
that the provision of cold storage facilities is an essential part of both the
plans outlined above. The cold storage facilities contemplated under the second
plan will be used entirely for bait; but those contemplated under the first plan
might, we suggest, be used also for other experiments.
(2) For example, the supplies of cod-heads and sound-bones available
both from the operations of the schooners and from the local trap-fishery might
be kept in cold storage until the rush of the trap-fishing was over, when they
might be processed at leisure for fish-meal. With the addition of caplin,
cod-liver residues and other seasonal material it might thus be possible to
feed a fishmeal plant for a large part of the year. Experiment in one locality
first of all will decide this.
(3) A canning industry might also be developed. There is room for
bold experiments in the production, for home consumption, of a wider variety of
fish products than are at present manufactured. A fairly wide range of canned
fish products has been found feasible of production by laboratory tests. The
following is a list of products capable of production (and in most cases already
produced in Laboratory) in Newfoundland:--salmon, salmon croquette, salmon crème,
cod fillets, smoked cod fillets, cod tongues, codfish croquette, smoked haddock,
smoked turbot, lobsters, caplin, smoked caplin.
At the earliest moment a booklet should be prepared giving recipes,
etc., for the production of these, and also for canning, bottling or otherwise
processing the vegetable and fruit products of the country.
The existing vacuum canning plant at the Laboratory at Bay Bulls might
with advantage, on its replacement by a more adequate apparatus, be transferred to
St. Anthony, to the charge of the Grenfell Mission, where a large range of products
is being grown and where fish, including salmon, are obtained so cheaply as to be
capable of being canned at competitive prices for, say, the United Kingdom market.
(4) We recommend, therefore, that experiments in both these directions
should be carried out by the Government in conjunction with the plan for the
establishment of a deep-sea schooner base.
371. We estimate that, for the
execution of the schemes outlined under Heads (a), (b) and (c),
an immediate capital outlay of approximately $165,000 will be required, involving
operation charges in the first year of about $80,000, all of which, except in the
case of the bait depots, would be directly recoverable. For the bait depots special
arrangements are proposed. The indirect benefits which would accrue to the Exchequer
as a result of increased employment, increased local business, an increased catch of
fish and a new stimulus to the fishing industry, need not be stressed.
372. The following
figures show the estimated cost of the schemes under each Head:--
Head (a). Schooner Base, Bay Bulls.
|(a) Capital Expenditure:--|
|Purchase of 4 schooners at, say $7,000 each ...............
Cost of refitting for sea, say ........................................
|(b) Operating expenses:--|
|Outfit for season, including provisions, salt,
fishing gear and bait, say $5,000 each ........................
Extras, including insurance, hire of store, etc. .............
Wages and bonus for captain and 22 men for 7
months at average of $30.00 a month, say
$4,850 per vessel .......................................................
Additional allowance to captain of group, say ................
|(c) Operating receipts:--|
|On the assumption that, at the outset, fish will
be sold from salt bulk, i.e., without being dried
and cured, the average receipts may be placed at
$3.00 a quintal.
The average catch of each schooner on the "circuit"
basis may estimated at 4,000 quintals a year.
On this basis, the average annual receipts from each
schooner will be $12,000, and for 4 schooners ............
Thus giving a surplus of receipts over expenditure
in the first year of ......................................................
a sum which should be ample to allow for refitting
at the end of the season.
Image description updated May, 2004.