Newfoundland Cod go online

By Ian Foster
SNN Editorial Assistant
St. John's, Newfoundland

I bet you never thought you'd see the day when even Newfoundland Cod would go online.

The Newfoundland Salt Fisheries Web page came online on July 6th, 1999, and chronicles four and a half centuries of Newfoundland culture. The site focuses of the processing of Cod: one of the provinces primary industries.


This site is an excellent representation of Newfoundland's rich heritage, and by utilizing the main tool of the latest generation–the Internet– it is easily accessible to Canada's youth. The page is also equipped with a wide variety of multimedia applications, such as .avi and .mov files that allow anyone to watch many of the historic videos that would be almost impossible to find otherwise. "I'm hoping that this site will serve an educational purpose for young people [in Newfoundland], and for young people throughout the country," said Mark Ferguson, the project manager for the digital exhibit. Jason Hollett, one of the students who helped develop the Web site, reinforced this statement. "I think it's a good site for young people too, because it deals with the fishing industry, which is part of our history."

Check out some of Mark Ferguson's
coments about the Web site.

Ferguson approached the Provincial Archives of Newfoundland a year and a half ago to create a Web site based on the Salt fisheries of Newfoundland.

"There has been a lot of moral support within the institution for this type of project, and so from there we've just rode the wave and have developed something which is just an amazing site," said Shelley Smith of the Provincial Archives.

Besides the fact that this Web page is interesting and educational, it is also fun. The movie clips are like looking through windows into our past, and some of the audio clips are witty and hilarious, as Newfoundland fishermen talk about their days. Also, having this site on the Internet allows for anyone to take part. Many of the pictures displayed on the page do not have a clear background. Hence, if you're a web surfer, and you know the origin of the picture, you can send in the information to help identify the images

The future looks bright for this digital exhibit. Mark Ferguson has stated that perhaps the page will eventually expand to include even more of Newfoundland's diverse culture, and the fact that the page offers so much in the way of information and interaction proves viewers can take full advantage of the database by asking questions and corresponding with others.

If you have a grandfather or grandmother who has lived his or her life in Newfoundland, you might want to print off one of the many pictures which depict the old way of life and take it to them; maybe ask them if they have ever visited this place. Perhaps by asking, you can start a discussion which will take you somewhere you've never been before. By learning about the past, you can better prepare for the future, and this Web site is an excellent place to start.

Visit "The Newfoundland Salt Fisheries: A Digital Exhibit" at: