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New year brings new hope for the fishery

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It’s that time of year again, when we’ve taken the old calendar down off the kitchen wall with all of its marks, doctors’ appointments and highlighted weather dates. That’s still very much a part of what happens in homes in rural Newfoundland and Labrador, just as the Dr. Chase’s Almanac and the Family Fireside was 50 years or more ago.

As we move through January and discard the old calendar, we might ask ourselves what kind of year 2016 was for rural Newfoundland and Labrador.

For me, personally, the top event of the year was remembering the 100th anniversary of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment and the Battle of the Somme, which my father was a part of.

In 2016, the Liberals were back in power, dealing with a bag of financial problems left behind by the previous government, resulting in tough decisions being made to keep this Rock afloat.

As in other years, rural Newfoundland and Labrador was again feeling the hatchet in the form of quota cuts to the shellfish industry, making fishermen wonder if it’s all worth it.

Some may ask, with all the doom and gloom of 2016, was there not one single glimmer of light? Yes, there was. For the first time since the cod moratorium, the people in charge of running our fishery finally listened to the fishermen when they said the cod is back and back in abundance.

As we move through 2017, we do so with great expectations. Never has rural Newfoundland and Labrador entered any year since the cod moratorium with so much hope, not because of oil or minerals, but because of cod — the one thing that has helped us survive since the days of Cabot, although over the past number of years we, in rural communities, have struck rock bottom. But every Newfoundlander and Labradorian believes that if things are done right, rural Newfoundland and Labrador will rise with the tide.

Oh, how I recall the heydays of the inshore cod fishery. It was in 1955, as a young man of 20, that I landed a job as a shareman with one of the greatest inshore fishing skippers of all time — Skipper Zack Patey of Pateyville, St. Anthony, at the end of a fishing season in which we salted down 2,000 quintals (one quintal was 112 lbs.) of salt bulk. Skipper Zack gave me a cheque for $1,000 — not bad for a young man still wet behind the ears and prone to seasickness. Can you imagine what that cheque would read today?

With it now being some months away from the gearing up of a brand new inshore cod fishery, let’s hope those in authority start doing their homework and do it right, and don’t blame it all on the foreigners.

Francis Patey

St. Anthony

As we move through January and discard the old calendar, we might ask ourselves what kind of year 2016 was for rural Newfoundland and Labrador.

For me, personally, the top event of the year was remembering the 100th anniversary of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment and the Battle of the Somme, which my father was a part of.

In 2016, the Liberals were back in power, dealing with a bag of financial problems left behind by the previous government, resulting in tough decisions being made to keep this Rock afloat.

As in other years, rural Newfoundland and Labrador was again feeling the hatchet in the form of quota cuts to the shellfish industry, making fishermen wonder if it’s all worth it.

Some may ask, with all the doom and gloom of 2016, was there not one single glimmer of light? Yes, there was. For the first time since the cod moratorium, the people in charge of running our fishery finally listened to the fishermen when they said the cod is back and back in abundance.

As we move through 2017, we do so with great expectations. Never has rural Newfoundland and Labrador entered any year since the cod moratorium with so much hope, not because of oil or minerals, but because of cod — the one thing that has helped us survive since the days of Cabot, although over the past number of years we, in rural communities, have struck rock bottom. But every Newfoundlander and Labradorian believes that if things are done right, rural Newfoundland and Labrador will rise with the tide.

Oh, how I recall the heydays of the inshore cod fishery. It was in 1955, as a young man of 20, that I landed a job as a shareman with one of the greatest inshore fishing skippers of all time — Skipper Zack Patey of Pateyville, St. Anthony, at the end of a fishing season in which we salted down 2,000 quintals (one quintal was 112 lbs.) of salt bulk. Skipper Zack gave me a cheque for $1,000 — not bad for a young man still wet behind the ears and prone to seasickness. Can you imagine what that cheque would read today?

With it now being some months away from the gearing up of a brand new inshore cod fishery, let’s hope those in authority start doing their homework and do it right, and don’t blame it all on the foreigners.

Francis Patey

St. Anthony

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