The Fishy Tribes

 

Jefferson sends the traveler to a series of sea ports on the French Atlantic coast. He was eager to expand the trade of these ports to American products, especially codfish. To learn about “the fishy tribes,” as he called them, he spent time investigating the maritime trades in New England before he sailed to France. We follow him to the waters off Newfoundland (where Jefferson’s shipmates caught cod) and to the French seaports he recommended. As we travel, we kept questions in mind—where have the cod gone, and will they ever come back?

After the cod stock collapsed in the early 1990's, the Canadian government has restricted fishing. We go with a local guide on a rare day it's permitted. This is our haul.

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Pulling up a codfish from a line. Jefferson's ship was "becalmed" off the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, the greatest codfishing grounds in the world, and everyone on board pulled up as many cod as they could.

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Who is happier, the fish or the fisherman?

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After the cod stock collapsed in the early 1990's, the Canadian government has restricted fishing. We go with a local guide on a rare day it's permitted. This is our haul.

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