Cod mora­to­rium hit Black Tickle hard

Labrador com­mu­nity barely hang­ing on

The Compass - - Sports - BY EVAN CA­REEN THE LABRADORIAN­reen@the­labrado­

BLACK TICKLE, LABRADOR — At one time Black Tickle was a bustling com­mu­nity, with fish­er­man com­ing from all over New­found­land and Labrador in pur­suit of cod.

Bernard Dyson, 72, re­mem­bers that time. It’s a far cry from today, with the small com­mu­nity now barely hang­ing on.

“The fish­ery that was here was as good as one you could have any­where,” he said in a re­cent in­ter­view. “I sup­pose there were hun­dreds of long­lin­ers and speed­boats and lit­tle old shacks along the point where the plant was. But right now there’s noth­ing, you can’t even get a drop of gas.”

Dyson started fish­ing with his fa­ther when he was 13 years old. Even af­ter he took a job with New­found­land Hy­dro he con­tin­ued to fish, tak­ing eight to 10 weeks off ev­ery sum­mer to go out on the wa­ter. To this day, he takes his speed­boat out when the fish­ery opens ev­ery year.

“Ev­ery­one fished here,” said, adding no one had to go very far to catch it. “. . . five or six min­utes out of the har­bour and you’d get the fish in a speed­boat, lit­tle longer in a big boat.”

The clo­sure of the cod fish­ery had a huge im­pact on Black Tickle, Dyson said, with the plant in town clos­ing and a steady clo­sure of busi­nesses since.

“We have noth­ing here. If you want to go out fish­ing, you can row out or you can sit on the land look­ing out through the win­dow. That’s all you can do. I want gas now I have to go to Cartwright to get it. It’s a heart­break­ing sit­u­a­tion here in Black Tickle.”

Dyson said at the height of the fish­ery there were so many cod caught in the area that the fac­tory boats couldn’t take it all.

“I saw more fish thrown off the side of the boats than catch here now in a whole sea­son,” he said.

There are only a few fish­er­men left in town, said Dyson, and no one has a ground­fish li­cense. Only a cou­ple fish­ers have a crab quota. There was a crab plant there at one point but that only lasted about six years.

Dyson said he has been keep­ing an eye on the cod though and he is pretty im­pressed with what he’s been see­ing the last few years.

“Last sum­mer and the sum­mer be­fore last the cod was as plenty as I’ve ever seen it. I’ve never seen it so plenty my whole life. I’ve seen a lot of cod fish, I’ve seen them scarce and I’ve seen them plen­ti­ful and I’ve never seen it like this now.”

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