The Newfoundland cod fishery in the nineteenth century

Ryan, Shannon (1971) The Newfoundland cod fishery in the nineteenth century. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

The Napoleonic and Anglo-American Wars provided the transitional period during which the ‘West of England - Newfoundland Cod Fishery' disappeared and the ‘Newfoundland Cod Fishery' came into its own. As these wars concluded the Island found itself in the enviable position of supplying the total, with few exceptions, world demand for dried cod. At the same time her economy was almost completely dependent on the cod fishery with per capita exports at a high level. -- During the nineteenth century Newfoundland's population increased five-fold and dried cod continued to provide most of the economic base for the Island. Yet, in spite of the fact that world demand increased steadily, Newfoundland's exports of dried cod expanded very little resulting in a rapid and steep decline in per capita exports as more and more people had to be supported by a non expanding cod fishery. -- The causes for Newfoundland's declining per capita exports and for her declining share of the markets can be found by studying the economy in general and the cod fishery in particular. An examination of the total economy reveals, in the first place, that the cod fishery provided the major economic base during the century, and, secondly, that capital investment in other industries was not a major reason for the lack of expansion in the cod fishery, responsibility for which lay in a combination of production and marketing problems in the fish trade. The writer concludes that the nature of her cod fishery and a deterioration in the quality of her product combined with the growth of foreign competition and an increase in market problems resulted in the decay (not too strong a word) of the Newfoundland dried cod trade. The impact of this situation on Newfoundland society can be seen in the decline in population growth, the increase in public debt, and the retrenching of business.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/593
Item ID: 593
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves [321]-328.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > History
Date: August 1971
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Cod fisheries--Newfoundland and Labrador

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