Tag Archives: Greg Locke

Life goes on in rural Newfoundland

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Bringing the sheep back from the summer community pastures on the island at Tors Cove on Newfoundland’s Southern Shore. A practice that has been going on for more than 200 years. Photo by Greg Locke © 2015

 

GREG LOCKE
September, 2015

Bay de Verde, Conception Bay, Newfoundland– Travelling around Newfoundland this summer I began seeing signs of life, culture and a society I thought were lost forever.

The cod moratorium was thought to be the death of rural Newfoundland. The outports are estimated to have been emptied of more than 50,000 people. Boats, houses, property …entire villages, abandoned. Newfoundland and Labrador’s historic cod fisheries attracted local and international fishing fleets for almost five centuries before the Canadian government shut the industry down indefinitely in July, 1992. By then, once-plentiful fish stocks had dwindled to near extinction, and officials feared they would disappear entirely if the fishery remained open. The moratorium put about 30,000 people in the province out of work, and ended a way of life that had endured for generations in many outport communities.

Except … it didn’t.

On the wharfs and in the twine lofts people are living their lives and following the old ways. In Tors Cove, just a 30 minute drive south of the capital, St. John’s,  Howard Morry was bringing his sheep back from the islands where they spent the summer grazing safe from dogs and coyotes. …the way it’s been done for generations.

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Community party in a fisherman’s twine loft Bay de Verde, Conception Bay, Newfoundland. Photo by Greg Locke © 2015

In Bay de Verde, fish were caught and parties and feasts went late into the evening. Just like the days in 1990 and 1991 when I spent all my spare time travelling the island documenting a fast disappearing culture. The sun sinks into the ocean, the moon lights the cove and the winding pathways through the village as people gather around the music and laughter from the sheds where coolers full of beer rattle with ice and deep fryers and barbecues sizzle with lobsters, crab and cod fish.

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Old historic houses, shops and fishing buildings are being restored in once booming places like Bonavista, Fogo Island and Elliston. Towns like Eastport and Glovertown are awash in new construction and service industries.

Newfoundland has been discovered by well-heeled and adventure tourists. They paddle in expensive kayaks alongside local fishermen in the new trendy hot spots.

Sure there is gentrification in the remote bays and coves, but the old ways remain. The new comers learn how to survive from the old timers and the few young Newfoundland people who were not meant to live in the cities of western Canada.

What happens when a government abandons its people? Do they disappear? What happens when the contract, trusts and social bonds between politicians, bureaucrats, scientists and the community its suppose to serve is broken?

In the years leading up to the destruction of the cod stocks, fishermen were warning the politicians and scientists that the fish stocks were disappearing, catches abnormal and erratic. These were not the fishermen with large offshore trawlers — the high-tech fishing factories — but small-boat fishermen living in the villages who fished close to shore, immersed in fish habitat and habits.

Officialdom turned a deaf ear. The message was that stupid uneducated fishermen don’t know anything. They lack biology degrees. They are ignorant of the machinery of politics.

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Fishermen from Bay de Verde, Newfoundland catching their small allocation of cod fish in Conception bay. Photo by Greg Locke © 2015

More than 25 years later, Newfoundland rural culture survives in small, wise, pockets. They have learned a lot about the politics of Canada’s federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans. More than they would care to, probably. The small-boat fishermen were proved right about the cod stocks.

In recent years those few still fishing are telling the politicians and scientists that cod catches are up, that the fish are the largest seen in more than 30 years.

They want to a return of a small, specialized, sustainable cod fishery for inshore fishermen and fishing communities. They are backed with science and expertise in sustainable fishing from groups as diverse as the fishermen’s union, World Wildlife Fund and independent biology and social scientists. All are working together on plans for that commercially viable, sustainable, community based fishery which the government doesn’t want to hear about it because its model is a fishing industry for a small number of large multinational food companies.

And DFO scientists, bureaucrats and politicians are still not listening.

It’s no surprise that all trust and respect has broken down between Newfoundland’s people, and the government, and scientists. And as the government, politicians and industrial fishing companies continue to abandon rural Newfoundland, it’s nice to see that the old ways are still remembered.

Life will carry on, regardless of the destruction wrought by the interlopers.

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 Copyright Greg Locke 2015

 

Photographer and journalist Greg LockeGreg Locke is a founder and the managing partner, visual, of Facts and Opinions. He built the Facts and Opinions website, produces F&O’s photo essays, reports for Dispatches, writes and photographs Think magazine pieces, and contributes to the blogs.

Greg Locke has been a professional photographer, media producer and journalist for more than twenty-five years. Locke has covered politics, economics, energy issues, international development and civil conflicts in more than 30 countries including the fall of communism in eastern Europe in 1980′s, civil wars in the Balkans and the conflicts of central and east Africa in the 1990′s. He has published three books and has been a regular contributor to Canadian Business, Canadian Geographic, Time, Businessweek, Macleans and Forbes magazines.

For more about Locke’s work you can visit his website at www.greglocke.com

Related:

Two decades of disaster: Newfoundland’s fishery, by Greg Locke

It’s a cold foggy day in the fishing village of Petty Harbour, Newfoundland. Just 20 kilometers south from downtown St. John’s, it feels much further. There is not much activity or many people out and around the few remaining wharfs and twine lofts that once were buzzing hives of fishing activity ringing the harbour. Today, there are just a few frozen tourists looking to make photos of a Newfoundland that doesn’t exist anymore.

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Facts and Opinions is a boutique journal, of reporting and analysis in words and images, without borders. Independent, non-partisan and employee-owned, F&O is funded by you, our readers. We do not carry advertising or “branded content,” or solicit donations from foundations or causes. Please support us with a contribution, below, of at least .27 per story, or a site pass for $1 per day or $20 per year — and by spreading the word.

 

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Locke: a malaria moon

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Copyright Greg Locke © 2013

For nearly a decade Greg Locke traveled through rural east and central Africa, from his home base in Nairobi to destinations including the some of the world’s largest refugee camps in Dadaab South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Lake Kivu, the eastern Congo and Burundi.

Locke, F&O managing partner – visual, has produced a gallery exhibit of some of the notes and photographic records of the conflict, humanitarian crisis and daily life he captured on news assignments and for a book, with Elliot Layton, about Médecins Sans Frontières.

Log in to see Under a malaria moon, available to F&O subscribers or for a $1 day pass to the site.

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The Bead Shop

By Deborah Jones

Launching Facts and Opinions made one thing clear: as well as a boutique media outlet, our collection of journalists now owns a digital startup. On some level we knew that from the get-go. But it really only hit me as, under crushing deadlines, we raced to courier necessary paper documents across continents, time zones and legal jurisdictions for a small, employee-owned business that lives solely on the Internet.

And F&O does now live, astride old and new worlds, and entering new territory. We began our second week having had the pleasure of meeting thousands of visitors to our free Open House. Thank you, to all who came by! Our paywall is now up, and our real test begins: will enough people value our work enough to pay a buck for a site Day Pass – or take out a longer subscription at an introductory price that costs less than a cup of coffee?

Largely, that will depend on the quality of our work. For a mere $1 day pass, come in and judge for yourself. New pieces this week include the Magazine feature Canada’s Mayor, in which writer Brian Brennan profiles Naheed Nenshi, “the self-styled brown guy” who is the political star of North America’s conservative, white-bread energy capital. In Commentary, international analyst Jonathan Manthorpe adds two new columns to an impressive roster of his original work: in one piece, he explains why China cannot avoid political reform; in the other, he examines the increasing isolation of Israel as icy relations warm between America and Iran. Author and journalist Chris Wood, who writes Facts and Opinions’ Natural Security column, explains his reasoning behind his headline: “Give disaster a chance.”

These pieces are only available behind our paywall because we journalists do, of course, wish to be compensated for hard work and, like everyone else, we need to make a living. But just as importantly, our paywall is crucial to our mission of providing journalism for people. That is a fundamentally different thing than providing journalism for advertisers – the familiar model of using stories as bait to attract people, then selling your attention to advertisers. Facts and Opinions does not rely for sustenance on advertising: we will live or die on our paywall, your patronage, and whether our copyright is upheld.

We also chose a collaborative model – each contributor is an independent, entrepreneurial partner who will reap the financial rewards of their work, after we pay site overhead expenses.

We set out to build Facts and Opinions after many years of thinking about, and watching, the old media models sink deeper into crisis mode throughout most of the Western world. Newsrooms have been cleared out, foreign and legislative bureaus have been shuttered, media companies have gone bankrupt, and many of the surviving outlets have consolidated under ownership by corporations or wealthy individuals, who may or may not have a stake in actual journalism. A few excellent outlets do persist, and do manage the tricky balance of providing journalism to citizens while serving their advertisers. But after 30+ years in this business, in which I’ve had the privilege of working for some of the best news outlets in the world, and shared with my editors and colleagues the extreme distress of watching them wane, I’m convinced that journalism would best be served if professional journalists control, and preferably own, the outlets for our work.

These days I’m an optimist again –  though I do know the challenges well: for a few years F&O partner Greg Locke and I ran a web site devoted to journalism issues that drew as many as 80,000 readers a month. Greg, a web developer as well as a world-class photojournalist, kept telling me journalism was dead, and said I should go open a “bead shop.” But journalism matters, a very great deal: evidence-based and inspired information is a public good, essential to human flourishing and to democratic citizenship. There’s cause for hope in the past year or so, as digital media seems finally to have evolved: the clamour for fake “free” material has subsided; prosecution has occurred for thefts of copyright digital work; subscription revenues at last exceeded advertising revenues at a few superb outlets with paywalls. And so we decided to launch a journalism storefront. It’s owned, of course, by our new company: Bead Shop Media.

Copyright © 2013 Deborah Jones

Deborah Jones can be reached at: editor@factsandopinions.com

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