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Retrenchment and Regeneration in Rural Newfoundland

Retrenchment and Regeneration in Rural Newfoundland

Copyright Date: 2003
Pages: 256
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    Retrenchment and Regeneration in Rural Newfoundland
    Book Description:

    Set against the background of momentous economic changes over the last decade,Retrenchment and Regeneration in Rural Newfoundlandexamines the economic, political, and social circumstances that have led to the current crisis in rural Newfoundland. In this timely collection, ten social scientists explore how outporters are coping with uncertainty, the choices that they are now confronting, and the consequences of these choices in terms of their capacity to sustain livelihoods into the next generation and beyond.

    Offering both general overviews and specific case studies drawn from recent research,Retrenchment and Regeneration in Rural Newfoundlandprovides insight into the moral and political economy of Newfoundland, the background to the collapse of the fish stocks, and the effects of the crisis on outporter's occupational choices and migration decisions. Rich in detail and thought-provoking ideas, this collection is the first to examine the interconnected problems and opportunities in rural Newfoundland in light of global economic and social changes.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7932-0
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Contributors
    (pp. vii-2)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 3-13)

    Retrenchment and Regeneration in Rural Newfoundlanddraws attention to two critical states of affairs. The collapse of the cod fishery and the imposition of moratoria on fishing for cod and other fish species by the Canadian government in the early 1990s removed or greatly weakened the economic mainstay of many of Newfoundland’s rural communities. Since then, the people in these communities have endured a prolonged period of uncertainty. The first term in the title of this book,retrenchment,is imported into the lexicon of economics from military usage: it refers to digging in behind protective earthworks to establish, or hold,...

  5. 1 The Moral Economy of Retrenchment and Regeneration in the History of Rural Newfoundland
    (pp. 14-42)

    Rural Newfoundland communities face an ongoing crisis of retrenchment and regeneration as a result of the depletion of the natural resources on which they depend for their livelihoods. The commercial annihilation of northern cod, which led to the fishing moratoria of 1992, is one indicator that rural communities have fewer options for ‘consolidating and conserving’ their resources while awaiting better economic times. Pervasive ecological depletion means that rural Newfoundlanders are running out of resources to conserve. Ten years after the fishing moratoria, the essential problem of the groundfisheries remains. Similar resource exhaustion characterises the other primary industries such as forestry....

  6. 2 A Decade of Uncertainty and Tenacity in Northwest Newfoundland
    (pp. 43-64)

    By ‘northwest Newfoundland,’ I refer to the west coast of the Great Northern Peninsula (GNP) of Newfoundland, which juts north roughly 300 kilometres towards Labrador from the main part of the island. In so doing, it separates the Atlantic Ocean from the Gulf of St Lawrence to the west. The Long Range Mountains dominate the southern two-thirds of the GNP. Along much of the west coast there is a coastal plain separating mountains from the sea. With a few exceptions where the mountains approach the ocean, the western coastline is generally low, rocky, and windswept. The climate of the west...

  7. 3 Why Fish Stocks Collapse: An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Problem of ‘Fishing Up’
    (pp. 65-102)

    When fish stocks collapse, it is not immediately obvious why this has happened. During the early 1990s there was a great deal of disagreement about the factors responsible for the collapse of the northern cod stocks (see Hutchings, 1999, for an overview of the explanations). The science and management system for northern cod in the 1980s was based on the broad assumption that stock recovery from overfishing in the 1970s could be assured through annual assessments and well-defined limits on fishing effort through setting quotas at a relatively low level in relation to assessed abundance. Instead, northern cod fishing mortality...

  8. 4 No Clearcutting in My Backyard! Competing Visions of the Forest in Northern Newfoundland
    (pp. 103-133)

    This view was widely held among residents of northern Newfoundland in the 1990s. ‘They’ refers to the commercial loggers and the provincial foresters, who work in the balsam fir forests of the Great Northern Peninsula (see map 4.1). The residents, except for some loggers and sawyers, have repeatedly expressed alarm that clearcutting and current levels of timber harvest will destroy the forest, curtail employment, and interrupt their many subsistence uses of the forest. They fear that bad management and an excessive harvest of the timber will lead to the same kind of resource depletion and harvest ban that has crippled...

  9. 5 The Professionalization of Inshore Fishers
    (pp. 134-157)

    Petty Harbour is a relatively secluded community of approximately a thousand people, located about fifteen kilometres south of St John’s. Its small harbour is long and narrow and is surrounded by steep hills that rise from the shore, giving it a fjordlike appearance and sheltering it from the strong winds of the Atlantic. It is adjacent to what has been described as one of the best fishing grounds in all of Newfoundland and has been the site of fishing activity by Europeans and their descendants for nearly 500 years. Like most coastal communities in the province, Petty Harbour’s social and...

  10. 6 Women’s Rights, Community Survival, and the Fisheries Cooperative of Fogo Island
    (pp. 158-176)

    Although heavily dependent on government support and in many ways industrialized, the resource-dependent rural communities of Newfoundland and Labrador continue to need for their survival diverse and opportunistic economic strategies, the reproduction of opportunities for the creation and transmission of local knowledge, and strong family ties and interhousehold cooperation. Among the institutions for interhousehold cooperation are registered cooperatives: for credit, buying, marketing, and processing. Fogo Island, on Newfoundland’s northeast coast, has a long history of such cooperatives, one of which has endured as the economic linchpin of the local economy. It began as a shipbuilding and fish marketing cooperative in...

  11. 7 In the Beginning: Region, Crisis, and Occupational Choice among Newfoundland’s Youth
    (pp. 177-198)

    During my first period of anthropological research (1977-8) in a southwest coast Newfoundland community that I call Grey Rock Harbour (a pseudonym), the local fishery was at its high point of the century. A largely small-scale, family-based, artisanal, inshore, year-round fishery was thriving. There was a strong provincial commitment to rural development, full employment in the local fishery, and two full shifts at the community fish plant. A marked and elaborated pride of place and occupational traditions dominated and shaped the emotional, symbolic, and moral fibre of the community (Davis, 1983). When I returned to the community for another period...

  12. 8 Moving Back and Moving In: Migration and the Structuring of Bonavista
    (pp. 199-225)

    Contrary to common belief, migration is not a one-way stream from the outports to elsewhere. For example, Sinclair and Felt (1993) show that over 30 per cent of people on the Great Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland are return migrants, about half having spent some time on the mainland of Canada. Thus any evaluation of the adaptation of rural Newfoundlanders to the limitations of their local economies is incomplete without attention to those who return as well as to those who leave. In this study of the isolated Bonavista Peninsula on the northeast coast, leaving and returning are considered to be...

  13. 9 Does Community Really Matter in Newfoundland and Labrador? The Need for Supportive Capacity in the New Regional Economic Development
    (pp. 226-267)
    J.D. HOUSE

    Throughout the twentieth century, starting with the thwarted efforts of William Coaker and his Fishermen’s Protective Union from 1908 to the 1920s, there have been periodic attempts to reform and regenerate the social and economic life of rural Newfoundland and Labrador. This essay evaluates some of these attempts, starting with the rural development movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s, and concentrates on the most recent effort, referred to as the ‘new regional economic development.’

    The title of this essay is paraphrased from the report of a Federal-Provincial Task Force on Community Economic Development which reported to the governments...