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From this Return it appears, that the export of dried Cod from the Northern Ports of New Brunswick, is chiefly from Caraquette. This export is made almost wholly by the Jersey Houses of Robin and Co., and Le Boutillier, Brothers, of Paspediac in Gaspé, and Alexandre and Co., of Shippagan, to Brazil, Spain, Portugal, Sicily, and the Italian States. The export of Cod from the Gulf of St. Lawrence to Foreign Markets, is a branch of business which the Merchants of New Brunswick have yet to learn.
The quantity of dried Cod exported to Foreign Countries from the District of Gaspé, during the past year (1848,) is thus stated from official Returns :Gaspé Basin,
41,269 Quintals. New Carlisle,
Total, 87,792 Quintals. The whole quantity of Dried Cod exported from New Brunswick during the last eight years, is exceeded by the quantity exported from Gaspé during the year 1848 only, by 5,414 quintals.
There is reason to believe, that a considerable proportion of the Cod exported from New Carlisle, is caught on the south side of the Bay of Chaleur, and about Miscou, the fishing grounds being better near the New Brunswick Shores, than on the Gaspé side of the Bay.
The quantity of dried Cod exported from Newfoundland in 1845 was 1,000,333 quintals, of wbich one-sixth was the produce of the Fishery on the Labrador Coast.*
The whole line of the New Brunswick coast from Sbediac to Escuminac, around the Bay of Miramichi, and thence along the shores from Tabusintacto Shippagan and Miscou, offers the greatest facility for prosecuting either the in-shore, deep-sea, or Labrador Cod Fishery. There are numerous harbours, creeks, coves, lagoons, for boats and vessels of every size and description; the beaches are admirable for drying Fish, and there is abundance of wood at
• The French employ 360 vessels, from 100 to 300 tons each, with crews amounting to 17,000 men, in the Newfoundland Fisheries. Their annual catch of Cod averages 1,200,000 quintals. The Government bounty is eleven francs per quintal, which is fully the value of the article itself. A French vessel for the Bank Fishery, of 300 tons, has a crew of at least 40 men, and from 7 to 9 heavy anchors, with 800 fathoms of hemp cable, and 4 or 5 large boats, capable of standing heavy weather.
hand for the construction of stages and “ fish-flakes." The soil too, is generally excellent, and owing to the flatness of the coast, the shore is every where easy of approach. For the establishment of Fishing Stations by Merchants of capital and skill, or the organization of Fishing Colonies on an extensive scale, this coast offers rare advantages.
The Bay of Chaleur likewise possesses many advantages for the prosecution of the Fisheries. The whole Bay may be considered one great Harbour, as throughout its entire breadth and extent, there is not a single rock, reef, or shoal. During the summer, it literally swarms with fish of every description known on the shores of British North America; and its ancient Indian name of “ Ecketaun Nemaachi”—the Sea of Fish—well denotes its character.
The facilities for ship building are very great on the New Brunswick side of this Bay. The timber is of excellent quality, and noted for its durability, more especially the larch, which is accounted equal to any in the world. Mr. MacGregor, M. P. for Glasgow, late Secretary to the Board of Trade, in one of his official Reports to that Board, says—“The larch-built vessels of the Bay of Chaleur are remarkably durable. A vessel belonging to Robin and Co., which I saw at Paspediac in 1824, I went on board of again in 1839, in the port of Messina, where she was then discharging a cargo of dry Codfish, to feel the Sicilians. This vessel, then more than thirty years old, was perfectly sound.”
The “ bultow” mode of fishing for Cod, introducel by the French at Newfoundland, and now being adopted by the English residents there, might very probably be followed with advantage by the fishermen dwelling on the New Brunswick coast.
The “ bultow” is described as a long line, with hooks fastened along its whole length, at regular distances, by shorter and smailer cords called snoods, which are six feet long, and are placed on the long line twelve feet apart, to prevent the hooks becoming entangled. Near the hooks, these shorter lines or snoods, are formed of separate threads, loosely fastened together, to guard against the teeth of the fish. Buoys, buoy ropes, and anchors or grapnels, are fixed to each end of the line ; and the lines are always laid, or as it is termed " shot” across the tide ; for if the tide runs upon the end of the line, the hooks will become entangled, and the fishing will be wholly lost. · These “set-lines” have been some time in ose on the coast of Cornwall, in England, and the mode is there
called “ bulter” fishing.* A gentleman connected with the British Fishery Board, has suggested an improvement, in fixing a small piece of cork within about twelve inches of the hook, which will suspend and float the bait, when it will be more readily seen by the fish. If a bait rests upon the ground, it is sometimes covered with sea weed, and often devoured by Star fish, Crabs, and Echini.
In a petition from the inhabitants of Byrant's Cove, in Newfoundland, to the Legislature of that Colony, in 1846, it is stated, that the “bultow” mode of fishing had been introduced in that vicinity in the previous year, at first by a single line, or "fleet" as it is termed, of one hundred hooks; and this proved so successful, that before the end of the season, seventy five fleets were used, some of them three hundred fathoms long. The petitioners represent, that the set-line, or “ bultow," is the best mode of fishing ever introduced in those waters, as being less expensive in outfit, and in keeping boats in repair. They state that a set-line will last three years, and with care even longer; that the total expense of fitting one out, with a gross of hooks, is only fifty shillings; and that it is not moved during the season, nor taken up, except for overhauling and baiting, until the fish move out in the deep water in the autumn. The petitioners add, that the fish taken by the "bultow” are larger than those taken by the hand line, as also superior in quality; and that it was a common thing, during the preceding season, for one and a half quintals of fish to be taken off a gross of hooks, in overhauling the line of a morning. It appears that the lines are overhauled, and fresh baits placed on the looks every morning and evening; and it is set forth as an advantage of the “ bultow,” that if the fisherman leaves it properly baited in the morning, it is fishing for him while he is at work in his garden; whereas, by the other mode, if he was not on the ground, he could not expect fish. The petition then proceeds thus: “Your petititioners therefore pray your honorable House to cause the following rules, or something like them, to pass into law, as like all new inventions, the set-line, or “ bultow," has to struggle against many hindrances, from ignorance, and bigotry to the old method, yet, as your Petitioners have endeavoured to show, the “bultow” has proved itself, what may be fully termed, “ The Poor Man's FRIEND.
* Mr. Wallop Brabanon, in his work on the Deep Sea Fisheries of Ireland, says this mode of fishing is much practised on the West Coast of Ireland, where it is called “spilliard," or "spillet” fishing.
The rules which the Petitioners pray may become law are simply that the fishing grounds may be divided into two parts, one for the “ bultow," and one for hand-line Fishermen ; that the “ bultows," shall always be set parallel with each other, that they may not get foul, and may take up as little room as possible; and, lastly that a person conversant with this mode of fishing, may be appointed to enforce these rules, and to instruct those who are not acquainted with the method, in the proper manner of fitting out and setting the“ bultow.” The Petitioners conclude by stating their belief, that if their suggestions are carried out, the boats now used in the Shore Fishery will, in three years, give place to the“ bultow” throughout Newfoundland, as they have already done in Byrant's Cuve.
For the Deep-sea Fishery, the “ bultow” is of great length. The French fishing vessels chiefly anchor on the Grand Bank of Newfoundland, in about 45 fathoms water, veer out one hundred fathoms of cable, and prepare to catch Cod, with 2 lines, each 3000 fathoms in length. The snoods are arranged as previously described, and the books being baited, the lines are neatly coiled in half bushel baskets, clear for running out. The baskets are placed in two strong built lug-sail boats, and at three o'clock in the afternoon, both make sail together, at right angles from the vessel, on opposite sides ; when the lines are run out straight, they are sunk to within five feet of the bottom. At day break next morning, the boats proceed to trip the sinkers at the extremities of the lines, and while the crew of each boat are hauling in line and unhooking Fish, the men on board heave in the other end of the lines, with a winch. In this way, four hundred of the large Bank Cod are commonly taken in a night. The Fish are cleaned and salted on board, and stowed in the hold in bulk; the livers are boiled to oil, which is put in large casks secured on deck. The French vessels engaged in this Fishery, are from 150 to 300 tons burthen; they arrive on the Grand Bank early in June, and on the average, complete their cargoes in three months. In fine weather, the largest class of vessels frequently run out three or four “bultows” in different directions from the ship, and thus fish 10,000 fathoms of line, or more, at one time, with a proportionate number of hooks.
Should this mode of fishing be approved, measures might be devised for promoting its adoption near the shores of New Brunswick.
If circumstances should arise to induce the prosecution of the Cod Fisheries of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, on a more extensive
scale, some regulations will be necessary for an efficient inspection of dried fish intended for exportation to Foreign markets, in order to give a character to the commodity, and prevent carelessness in curing. On this point, the Commissioners of the British Fisheries, in their Report for 1844, say—“ It is very gratifying to observe, that there is a gradual increase in the annual export of dried Cod to Spain, where a most extensive market for the consumption of this description of fish, may be fairly looked for, in the course of some years. This can only be obtained by unremitting care on the part of the Board's officers, in their inspection and punching of the fish, the Spaniards being very particular in regard to the excellence of the article they purchase. The Commissioners have judged it right to order an improvement in the form of the official punch used for stamping the dried Cod and Ling, and instead of that lately used, which cut a square figure out of the tail of the fish, for which some private marks used by curers were liable to be mistaken, they have adopted a crown, which is less liable to be imitated.”
Besides Cod, there are several species of fish of the same genus, caught in the Gulf, in the prosecution of the Cod Fishery. These are—the Haddock (Gadus æglefinus)—the Hake (Gadus merlucius)—and the Torsk, or Tusk, (Gadus brosme.) These fish are cured in the same manner as Cod, to which, however, they are inferior. They are known commercially as “Scale Fish ;" and on the average, they sell at about half the price of Cod.
The Cod fishers in the Gulf often take the large flat-fish, known as the Halibut, (Hippoglossus vulgaris of Cuvier) which sometimes attains the weight of 300 lbs. The flesh, though wbite and firm, is dry, and the muscular fibre coarse. These fish are cut in slices, and pickled in barrels, in which state they sell at half the price of the best Herrings.
(To be continued.)
REVIEWS AND NOTICES OF BOOKS.
Proceedings of the Essex Institution, Salem, Mass. Vol. II.,
Part I. 1856 to 1857. We have perused this volume with the greatest pleasure. The annual Report of this Society which it contains gives evidence of much life and energy in the prosecution of Natural Science and of History. The aggregate number of its members is three hundred