New Bonaventure is a tiny and wonderfully picturesque village on the south side of the Bonavista Peninsula on Newfoundland’s eastern coast. Located just one mile from the site where the PBS series Random Passage was shot, it is often bypassed by tourists navigating the tortuous track from the highway to the set, Frommer’s in hand.
Yet the beauty of the village hides the struggle that rural Newfoundlanders face in the wake of the collapse of the fishing industry. Although fishermen warned the government for years that stocks were diminishing, they were ignored. Enormous deep trawlers scoured the bottom around the Grand Banks, destroying habitat, and no action was taken. Finally, the Canadian government imposed a moratorium on commercial cod fishing, and an industry and a way of life died.
Although fish stocks are slowly coming back, it will be years before cod fishing is a viable way of life, and inhabitants of rural communities like New Bonaventure have had to turn to other
sources of income to survive. Newfies are a resourceful lot, however; lobster fishing has blossomed, and the one working boat in the New Bonaventure harbor belonged to Rugged Beauty Boat Tours. Clearly, Newfoundland enterprise did not die with the cod industry!
Kurlansky, Mark. “Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World.” Penguin Books, New York. 1997.