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Transformation Of The Maritime Cultural Landscape Of Atlantic Canada By Migratory European Fishermen, 1500–1800

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Chapter Summary

The dry salt-cod fishery was labour intensive, requiring more manhours per tonne of output than the green fishery of the Grand Banks. Throughout the sixteenth century and much of the seventeenth, a substantial crew was an advantage too, if a cargo was to be carried to the best markets for dry cod, in Iberia or the Mediterranean. Large crews were not needed to handle the ship itself, but to defend it against the pirates that still plagued the waters inside the Straits of Gibraltar. Fishing masters recruited migratory crews in Europe, however, and there is little evidence that masters normally had much trouble assembling crews at the customary rates. The economic culture of the transatlantic fishery channelled competition among migratory crews and, in the long term, scattered fishermen from particular European regions in a specific array across the Atlantic Canadian maritime cultural landscape.

Keywords: Atlantic Canada; economic culture; maritime cultural landscape; migratory European fishermen; salt-cod fishery; Straits of Gibraltar; transatlantic fishery



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