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History of the Northwest Atlantic Fishery

Early History of Northwest Atlantic Fisheries

30 April 2009

Early History of Northwest Atlantic Fisheries

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.

Historical photos

old ship

Photo of the "Matthew" sailing near North America Ref: Cabot's Discovery of North America, by G. E. Weare, 1897. 

cod and child

Photo showing child with two cod taken 1910 in Battle Harbour, Labrador. Ref: National Archives of Canada; Neg. No.: C76178


NAFO Perspectives booklet 
(Historical document - 2009)

Contact us

Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization
Summit Place
1601 Lower Water Street 
Suite 401
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Canada B3J 3P6

Tel: +1 902 468-5590