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Catching Cod in Bonne Esperance; From the Cod Trap to the Cod Moratorium
Whiteley Museum
St-Paul's River , Quebec


   This Community Memories
exhibit tells the tale of
William Henry Whiteley of
Boone Esperance, the fishing
skipper who invented the cod
trap, a design so ingenious
that it became the most
important piece of gear used
by Newfoundland fishermen for
one hundred years.

   At the age of thirteen,
W.H. Whiteley arrived in
Bonne Esperance from Boston
in 1847 with his mother and
stepfather, James Buckle. The
Buckles set up a fishing post
at Belles Amour, where
Whiteley worked until he was
about 21 years old.
   In 1858, Whiteley

traveled to England to claim
a great uncle's inheritance.
While in London, Whiteley
also claimed Louisa Ann
Thompson as his wife. Family
legend has it that William
persuaded his new bride to
venture to the New World in
1859 with the promise of the
finest house on the coast of

Labrador, a promise he
fulfilled ten years later.
   Once back at Bonne
Esperance, Whiteley organized
his own cod fishing business
with a single crew of four.
His business expanded rapidly
two years later when he
invented the cod trap.
   Inspired by the seine

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