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Newfoundland Fishing Community on the Brink

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A Newfoundland fishing community may cease to exist after this spring.

A recent Wall Street Journal piece investigated the interesting situation involved in Little Bay Islands, Newfoundland, a community that was founded in conjunction with the fishing industry boom and has begun to fade along with it.

A Newfoundland and Labrador Province offer of monetary residuals for the resettlement of small and dying towns is becoming more and more appealing by the day. With only around 90 year-round residents, mostly over the age of 60, Little Bay Islands fits the description of a town that could benefit. The only drawback: the death of the Little Bay Islands fishing industry.

Little Bay Islands

Little Bay IslandsLittle Bay Islands is on the Northern coast of Newfoundland. A ferry runs from the mainland of the Province to the island, and costs the Canadian government about $2.6 million US dollars to run yearly.

RELATED: Why You Should Care About a New Saltwater Fisheries Report

Little Bay Islands is reviewing options of resettlement, and will vote in the spring to determine whether or not to pack up and leave.

Six decades ago, the Canadian Provinces started offering the resettlement options, likely to absorb shrinking outposts and reduce the money and energy spent on governing them. Now a community once filled with bustling crowds eager to get their hands on the fantastic seafood brought through the region, as well as young children and a vibrant tourism sector.

Now lobster traps sit unused for years and storefronts remain closed. No retail stores are located in Little Bay Islands, and one school houses only two children.

The Provincial Department of Finance reported that the fishing industry employed 13% of the population in 1980, but dropped to 3% currently.

The vote needs a 90% approval rate, and most of the town’s inhabitants believe it will pass.

What do you think about the world’s fishing industry? Is it dying before our eyes, or poised to recover? 

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Newfoundland Fishing Community on the Brink