Cod Fishing Station, 1698

Drawn on the side of a map of America, this is the only existing image of a Newfoundland cod fishing station. From the days of Cabot and perhaps before, fleets of European fishermen sailed to the banks, and they soon discovered that they could stay longer and bring back more fish if they set up shore stations to split, salt and dry the catch. Some of these men may have overwintered. This would have been an early source for Americans to have gotten trade goods from the Europeans.

Herman Moll copied this drawing and much of the map in 1715 in A New and Exact Map of the Dominions of the King of Great Britain.

Moll added letters and a legend:

A View of a Stage & also of ye manner of Fishing for Curing & Drying Cod at NEW FOUND Land.

A. The Habit of the Fishermen (clothing, hooded coat, boots and apron)
B. The Line
C. The Manner of Fishing (casks were slung over the side of the ship and fishermen stood in them)
D. The Dressers of ye Fish
E. The Trough into which they throw ye Cod when Dressed
F. Salt Boxes
G. The Manner of Carrying ye Cod
H. The Cleansing ye Cod
I. A Press to extract ye Oyl from ye Cod Livers K. Casks to receive ye water & Blood that comes from ye Livers
J. Another Cask to recieve the Oyl
K. The manner of Drying ye Cod

The boat shown is an early ancestor of the dory.
Map : America by Nicolas de Fer, 1698, courtesy the Library and Archives of Canada, NMC-26825

Database ID:
Geographic Location: 
Maritime Canada
Nicholas de Fer