Photo of the "Matthew" sailing near North America Ref: Cabot's Discovery of North America,
by G. E. Weare, 1897.
Photo showing child with two cod taken 1910 in Battle Harbour, Labrador. Ref: National Archives of Canada; Neg. No.: C76178
NAFO Perspectives booklet
(pdf 4.7 MB)
John Cabot, n.d.
John Cabot in the Matthew off Cape Bonavista in 1497.
Painting by C. Dinsmore.
From J. R. Smallwood, ed., The Book of Newfoundland, Vol. 2 (St. John's: Newfoundland Book Publishers, 1937).
International commercial fishing in Northwest Atlantic waters dates back to the discovery of the rich cod resources off Newfoundland by John Cabot in 1497. His famous quote was:
... and they affirm that the sea is covered with fish which are caught not merely with nets but with baskets, a stone being attached to make the baskets sink with the water .... and thus I heard the said Zoane Cabot relate.
The first regulatory convention that pertained to the North Atlantic was the 1943 Draft Convention relating to the Policing of Fisheries and Measures for the Protection of Immature Fish (Halliday and Pinhorn 1996, Sen 1997). However, Canada and USA shared doubts that North American interests would be well served by a North Atlantic-wide organization dominated by European states. That convention never came into force in the northwest Atlantic.
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