Cod Farming holds promise on the Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland
By: Jillian D.C., Roncalli Central High School, Port Saunders, NF


When Eugene Caines and Henry Rumbolt head out to take care of the farm, they carry feed that consists of herring, mackerel, caplin or squid and travel there aboard a boat. That’s because they have a different kind of farm - a cod farm.

Late July, 2000, the two residents from Port Saunders on the Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland decided to attempt something new. They contacted the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture and made the necessary arrangements. Then they captured and towed cod from Sammy’s Brook, just past Spirity’s Cove, NF in a net towards Keppel Island, near Port Saunders, NF. When the fish were safe in Keppel’s Harbour they were weighed and moved to a new, secured farming cage, all 15,000 pounds.

In November or December the fish will be starved for two weeks, to remove unwanted stomach content, and harvested. Afterwards Caines and Rumbolt will be looking for the best price offered and selling. Eugene Caines, who gets up early to prepare the cod’s food, along with partner Henry Rumbolt, had this to say, “This is the first year for me and it’s very work extensive, but it has great potential.” He also added, “One task is catching the fish and the other is keeping and maintaining them.”

When Caines and Rumbolt started in July,2000, they fed the cod 100 pounds every second day. Later in the year, as the cod grew, their food increased to 500 pounds. Now the cod consume close to 600 pounds every second day. As the weight of the cod fish increase so does the feed, which can be expensive, but the men are optimistic that the sale of the fish will be successful.

The cod farm cage is 20 feet deep and approximately 35 feet by 40 feet wide. It is made of a soft, knot-less net which is safe for the fish to swim in. Cages similar to this can be found throughout the province of Newfoundland & Labrador in places such as Rocky Harbour and Bonne Bay.

Stan Butt who has a cod farm in Rocky Harbour on the Northern Peninsula hopes to have doubled his 20,000 pounds to 40, 000 pounds. Butt has had his cod since June and is in the process of finding a buyer now. The cod fish are suppose to be kept approximately 100 days which means the cod in Rocky Harbour are ready to sell.

When asked if he felt the growth of cod fish held promise he said, “Yes. Other farmers in last three years have doubled every year.”

That’s what all the farmers are hoping to achieve, double the cod’s weight and sell for higher prices. With the aid of cod farmers from the Northern Peninsula, others from the rest of the province hope to raise half of a million cod fish for the market and help develop new ideas for a struggling cod fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Back to Front Page

Back to News Headlines