Production and marketing in Nova Scotia's dried fish trade 1850-1914

Balcom, Berton A. (1980) Production and marketing in Nova Scotia's dried fish trade 1850-1914. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

Between 1850 and 1914, the traditional elements of Nova Scotia's economy underwent a considerable realignment as the province industrialized. Exports of cod and its related species of groundfish, processed as dried fish, were an important aspect of this changing economy. Production was divided between boat and vessel fishermen with the latter enjoying greater individual productivity , but necessarily producing a poorer cure. Both groups utilized handlines for catching groundfish but other species were also sought. Merchants provided necessary credit to the fishermen and exported their production. Halifax's superior commercial advantages resulted in its merchant community dominating Nova Scotia’s dried fish exports and imports. The province' s exporters emphasized the American and West Indies markets assuming an entrepot role in these trades. However, this strategy was vulnerable to both direct and indirect competition from other producers. -- Within the dried fish trade, the last third of the nineteenth century was of pivotal importance. At the end of the prosperous reciprpoity era, production and marketing strategy emphasized the West Indies. Based on increasing numbers of fishermen and technological adaptations, the dried fish trade expanded in contrast to the province’s general economic fortunes. This growth was halted by market depression in the mid-1880s and its failure to regain this growth after recovery underscored the West Indies vulnerability. Continued technological refinement in the vessel fishery and diversification in the inshore fishery prolonged traditional marketing procedures. Increasing production and marketing problems into the twentieth century necessitated additional action, including government support. These responses preserved the province' s traditional dried fish trade intact to the First World War but Its inherent weaknesses were still unresolved.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/1506
Item ID: 1506
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves [173]-180
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > History
Date: 1980
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Nova Scotia
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Dried fish; Salted fish; Fish trade--Nova Scotia--History

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