Article ID: CBB938214822

Cartographical Perspectives on the Evolution of Fisheries in Newfoundland’s Grand Banks Area and Adjacent North Atlantic Waters in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (2019)


At the turn of the sixteenth century, John Cabot and his successors discovered abundant fish stocks in the north west Atlantic waters near Newfoundland. This article accounts for how sixteenth- and seventeenth-century mapping provide another strand of evidence that supplement our knowledge of the subsequent Iberian, French, and British fisheries. Such cartography exhibited significant mutations and innovations in rendering fishing locations, and illustrating fishing practices and fish species. Fishermen’s knowledge must have informed such mapping. The innovation of hydrographical indicators in esthetically appealing maps recognized from an early stage the status of the Grand Banks as a globally important feature of submarine topography. More refined and accurate delineations of its submarine plateaus and other adjacent continental shelves closely followed the development of fishing activities, encompassing both Newfoundland’s nearshore and the Grand Banks themselves. Furthermore, such cartography reflected transformative and reciprocal relationships with commerce and inter-state politics across the North Atlantic.

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Authors & Contributors
Allen, David Y.
Barrera-Osorio, Antonio
Bolster, W. Jeffrey
Buisseret, David
Dahl, Edward H.
Dickenson, Victoria J. V.
Environmental History
Imago Mundi: A Review of Early Cartography
Canadian Cartographer
Coordinates: Online Journal of the Map and Geography Round Table, American Library Association.
Scientia Canadensis: Journal of the History of Canadian Science, Technology, and Medicine
Belknap Press of Harvard University Press
Breakwater Books
Johns Hopkins University Press
Michigan State University Press
New York University Press
Fisheries; fishing
Maps; atlases
Environmental history
Champlain, Samuel de
Reinel, Pedro
Cartier, Jacques
Velasco, Alonzo de
Ruyters, Dierick
Herrman, Augustine
Time Periods
16th century
17th century
19th century
20th century
15th century
Atlantic Ocean
Newfoundland (Canada)
Great Britain

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