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Sunday, July 29, 2018

Cod Fishing Grounds - Resettlement Part 3

Jim and Ellen Leonard's "front yard"

Here's more from Pat and Joe Byrne's song "The Government Game" to ponder while taking a closer look at the bounty that the families of St. Kyran's left behind.


My home was St. Kyran's a heavenly place

It thrived on the fishing of a good hearty race

But now it will never again be the same

Since they made it a pawn in the government game

Hickey's Island a haven for lichen

Sure the government paid us for moving away

And leaving our birthplace for a better day's pay

They said that our poor lives would ne'er be the same

Once we took part in the government game

Now St. Kyran's lies there all empty as hell

Except for the graveyards where our dead parents dwell

The lives of their children are buried in shame

They lost out while playing the government game

To a place called Placentia well some of them went

And in finding a new home their allowances spent

So for jobs they went looking but they looked all in vain

For the roof had caved in on the government game

It's surely a sad sight their moving around

Wishing they still lived by the cod fishing grounds

But there's no going back now there's nothing to gain

Now that they've played in the government game

underside of Northern Sea Star

They tell me our young ones the benefits will see

But I don't believe it oh how can that be

They'll never know nothing but sorrow and shame

For their fathers were part of the government game

stranded jellyfish - we saw many jellies sailing into harbor

And when my soul leaves me for the heavens above

Take me back to St. Kyran's the place that I love

And there on my gravestone right next to my name

Just say I died playing the government game

Northern rock barnacles

The staple here was cod, and while the stock has been increasing for a number of years, there has again been concerns over decline. Estimates of mortality are really high with the spawning stock in decline so fish aren't surviving to spawn a whole lot of times.  Total mortality has been increasing since 1997, and reached an average of 48 per cent between 2012 and 2014. Speaking of fishing grounds, the scallop shell I found was so big that it made me hungry.

Not surprising was the find of a Green Sea Urchin whose spines and tube feet snare large pieces of food that are moved to the mouth. Here they are chopped into small pieces by 5 sharp pointed teeth held by complex set of jaws.

Donnie found a little piece of pottery on shore.  Old or newer?  From here or just washed up from farther away?  Another food staple here is potatoes, cabbage and carrots.  Not just for St. Patrick's day up this way, I've had it three times in the past week!  And many cups of tea have been poured as well.

As nice as it was where we were, we had to get back into the zodiac and head over to the Church of the Assumption for the time was ticking by and we only had the afternoon to see it all...

If you missed the previous posts in this series here are the links:

The Whittles Lived Here - Resettlement Part 2

If you want to listen to "The Government Game" here is the YouTube video which is a compilation of actual photographs from the outports, mostly Merasheen which is enjoying their reunion this week!

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