FISHERIES HERITAGE PROJECT
Fishing Structures Restoration Project 2007
Amina will commence its Fisheries Heritage Project in 2007. The first phase of the project includes raising funds to finance the restoration of the fishing stores and stages in the town of Brig Bay. Historic Brig Bay was home to at least three French cod fishing stations and lobster factories from the late 1700s to 1904, some of which have been rediscovered and given archaeological designations as official historic sites. The French heritage of this town is represented through gravestones in the cemeteries featuring family names such as Garreau and Samson. Brig Bay was also home to the legendary rum-runner, Kenneth Sheppard, whose ship ran aground full of precious cargo off Brig Bay Head during prohibition. Several of his grandchildren still live in the area and are owners of the fishing sheds to be restored in the restoration project.
Once a thriving community, Brig Bay was also home to the Brig Bay Consumer and Producers Co-op which was an active economic organization and a vital link for the primary producers and consumers of the St. Genevieve - Barr'd Harbour region. This Co-op was featured in a popular political film in 1968. Situated in the midst of 38 pre-contact and historic archaeological sites from Bird Cove to Pond Cove, Brig Bay is deeply embedded in a rich cultural landscape.
Sadly, Brig Bay is among the towns hardest hit by the cod fishery decline and the fishing structures are rarely in use. It is feared the remnants of the fishery will go with the fishing sheds if they are left to deteriorate. With a long history of fishing worth celebrating, the revitalization of the those structures in 2007 is a way to commemorate the beauty of a life nearly lost and a signal of hope for the future.
Above: Locked up forever?
Top Left: Brig Bay today
Top Right: Abandoned?
Background: Remnants of a once proud fishery
© Latonia Hartery