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Aquaculture: Cod Walloped

NEWFOUNDLAND - If you don't have a Newfie accent and walk into any of the bars on George Street in downtown St. John's, it's a safe bet a bartender will dare you to kiss a codfish.

If you pucker up and throw back a shot of Screech, you will qualify as an honorary Newfoundlander. It's a small but telling example of how, despite the decline and fall of the Atlantic cod, the fish that sustained Newfoundland for centuries still has its hooks in the province--its culture, its lingo and its popular imagination.

Perhaps that's part of the reason aquaculture--an industry that promised to revive the cod's economic importance--was so widely embraced in Newfoundland.

After the wild fishery faded in 1992, the tiny coastal towns and coves that depended on cod became even tinier--they have lost upward of 10% of their populations. Former fishermen who stayed in rural Newfoundland instead of migrating to larger centres like St. John's or Corner Brook found employment prospects bleak, and the many fish processors dotting the province were forced to run at significantly less than capacity.

Source: Canadian Business