The waters off Newfoundland, in the North Atlantic, held the world's most abundant supply of codfish, which, when discovered, was in great demand. Unlike the fur trade-the other major early commercial activity in what is now mainland Canada-the production of codfish did not require year-round residence. It did, however, require numerous men, young and old, for the fishing season, which ran from spring to early fall. This successful English-Newfoundland migratory fishery evolved into an exclusively shore-based, but still migratory, fishery that led to the formation of a formal colony by 1818. Shannon Ryan offers this general history as an introduction to early Newfoundland. The economy and social, military, and political issues are dealt with in a straightforward narrative that will appeal to general readers as well as students of Newfoundland and Labrador history.
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