p. 2408

the observations which show that the salinity in the deep waters of the lake is much smaller than the salinity observed in similar depths in the waters off the coast. See Sir John Murray and Dr. Johan Hjort The Depths of the Ocean, Macmillan, 1912, Fig. 95, page 110 and the Canadian Fisheries Expedition 1914–1915, mentioned above plate 2, following page 343.
From these facts and the considerations given above I feel confident that the conclusion may be drawn that Lake Melville cannot be considered as a suitable water for the life or even for the periodic visits of the large shoals of Cod migrating off the coast of Labrador.
JOHAN JHORT.




No. 1017.C

MEMORANDUM FROM JOHAN HJORT, Sc.D., F.R.S.

ON THE PREVALENCE OF UNFAVOURABLE CONDITIONS FOR COD IN THE WATERS OF LAKE MELVELLE FOR SOME TIME PAST, SAY, SINCE 1763.



The unfavourable conditions for cod in the waters of Lake Melville, described in a previous memorandum are mainly due to two factor : the meteorological conditions especially the rainfall and the topographical conditions, especially at the narrow and shallow entrance to the Lake, called “ the Narrows.” The question, if these factors have remained unaltered during the last two hundred years, can only be answered on the basis of geological evidence, since no historical reports or material are at hand for all this space of time. As I am no specialist in the science of geology myself, I have consulted my colleague, Dr. J. Schetelig, who is professor of geology at the University of Christiania, and one of the first specialists on the subject. He has sent me the appended letter of the 15th inst., in which he gives all the geological material, which I consider necessary for answering the question laid before me, viz : if the unfavourable conditions for cod in Lake Melville have prevailed for the last two hundred years.
From Dr. Schetelig’s letter it will be seen that the geological evidence favours the view, that rainfall in the last two hundred years has remained of the same order of magnitude, and that there are reasons for the belief that the rainfall one or two hundred years ago was larger than at the present day.
For the consideration of the changes in the topography, the geological evidence goes in the direction of proving that the oscillations, which took place in Northern latitudes on both sides of the Atlantic, came to a stage of rest several hundred years ago, especially along the coast line, f.i. along the Norwegian coast and along the coast of Labrador, where the Narrows are situated.
p. 2409
“ The extracts from reports on the District of Ungava ” (published by the province of Quebec, Canada, by the Dep. of Colonisation, Mines and Fisheries (Mines Branch, Quebec 1913), strongly support the view of the similarity between the oscillations of the Scandinavian and the North American coast since the glacial period, because they describe the uprise of the coast since the glacial period as being of the same magnitude as on the European side, where historical evidence is at hand for the last hundreds of years. Dr. Schetelig states that even if the largest change, which has been observed in any part of these territories, were made a basis for calculation, this would only lead to the conclusion, that the entrance to Lake Melville in 1750 might have been 1·7 meter deeper than it is at present.
I may add, that the latest reports f.i. A. P. Coleman’s North Eastern Part of Labrador and New Quebec (Geol. Survey Survey of Canada, Memoir 124, 1921) also supports Mr. Schetelig’s view.
On the basis of this material the conclusion follows that the unfavourable conditions for the life, the migrations and fisheries of cod in the waters of Lake Melville have remained unaltered for several hundreds of years past
JOHAN HJORT.


 

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