Wading through words: a reference guide on the management of the northern cod

Wading through words

In 1992, a province once defined by its bountiful cod fishery found itself confronting a Canadian government decision that would ultimately end a way of life built over centuries.  July 2nd, 2017, marks the 25 year anniversary of the Newfoundland and Labrador cod moratorium that put about 30,000 people in the province out of work and caused a cataclysmic economic and culture shift.  

Almost immediately after the cod moratorium, Colleen Field, a librarian with the Centre for Newfoundland Studies in the Queen Elizabeth II Library, began a pivotal project that drew on her expertise as a librarian and her ability to inform research by connecting people with key information.

"As soon as the moratorium was announced, students were seizing on that as a research topic," explained Ms. Field. "At the Centre for Newfoundland Studies, we were being inundated with reference questions about what caused the collapse of the cod fishery."

Ms. Field sifted through endless information in the library catalogue, newspaper clippings, bibliographies in theses, and various reports to create an all-encompassing reference guide called the "Management of the Northern Cod Fishery: A Guide to Information Sources." She is still updating the guide 25 years later.

"Every important event dealing with the management of the northern cod fishery, or major report since 1977 is highlighted in the Chronology section,” said Ms. Field.

The comprehensive guide includes everything from an extensive bibliography which links to full-text reports to a list of songs that deal with the moratorium.

"The guide is meant to be a springboard for students, faculty and researchers who are pursuing studies dealing with the impact of the moratorium, the sustainability of the industry or more recently, the future recovery and comeback of the Atlantic cod stocks,” explained Ms. Field.

To access the "Management of the Northern Cod Fishery: A Guide to Information Sources," visit http://www.library.mun.ca/cns/cod/

For more assistance and resources, visit the Centre for Newfoundland Studies http://www.library.mun.ca/cns/  on the 3rd floor of the QEII Library, Memorial University.

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