Newfoundland's Petit Nord: An Historic Maritime Cultural Landscape

The Petit Nord

The fishing zone known to the French as the Petit Nord was the Atlantic coast of Newfoundland's Great Northern Peninsula. It stretched from Quirpon, in the Strait of Belle Isle between Newfoundland and Labrador, down to Cape St John, on Newfoundland's northeast coast. Used by migratory Breton and Norman fishing crews from about 1500 to 1900, it formed an important part of the French Shore, where French fishers were allowed to build seasonal shore stations, to carry out a seasonal salt-cod fishery. The French Shore was defined diplomatically in 1713, by the Treaty of Utrecht between France and Great Britain, and redefined by the Treaty of Versailles in 1783. The Petit Nord is the focus of our project to understand the archaeology of the French migratory fishery.

Map of the historic French fishing stations of the Petit Nord