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Date: 24 Aug 2010 18:44:00
Title: A visit to a Newfoundland fishing boat

We've just got back onboard Saxon Blue after a visit to our neighbours, a fishing boat from Newfoundland called L'Anse Amour Venture. She's about 50 feet long and a typical American vessel with a boom out either side that holds an anti-roll device called a "fish". These are a bit like trawl doors and keep her rock solid in most seas at the cost of about 1 knot of boat speed.

They're here in Cumberland Sound conducting research for the Nunavut government into whether there is a sustainable fishery for Greenlandic Halibut (which is a Turbot) in this area. The short answer seems to be "no". There are loads of fish here in the winter when the Inuit catch them through holes in the ice but there are a lot fewer in the summer. There is only a window of about 3 months when the fjord is navigable and it's not long enough to be worth the trip up from Newfoundland. That said, it sounds as though it's not really economic to have a boat down there either as some of their quotas are for only 40 hours of fishing per year. Pretty typical fishing economics, really.

There are three Newfoundland guys onboard plus two locals. The government are hoping that they can train locals to catch the fish and bring some employment into the local economy which sounds a good plan. We had a great time chatting to the guys. The Newfounders have a really strange accent that's a mixture of American with Irish and maybe a bit of Bristol and it takes a while to tune into it. We chatted about boats and fishing, about hunting and whether it's better with a bow or a rifle, about where we've been and their home waters which is where we're going next.

Chester, the skipper, looked us out some of today's catch and then fried some of it up for us there and then. It was delicious and I ate more fish than the average seal. We've brought a bucketfull of it back with us so we can restock our freezer. They've also told us some good Arctic Char angling spots and how to get to where the Belugas go to breed. Altogether a lovely evening.

Harvey

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