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The Fisheries Museum in Twillingate Newfoundland

Prime Berth - Fisheries Museum in Twillingate Newfoundland
Prime Berth - Fisheries Museum in Twillingate Newfoundland

Everything about fishing in Newfoundland

Just past the bridge over the narrow canal that separates South Twillingate Island from the main island of Newfoundland, on your left is the Twillingate Newfoundland Fisheries Museum - Prime Berth. It is not to be missed, since the website address of the museum on the roof of the main building is emblazoned in large letters and an imaginative sign shows us the entrance to the parking lot. For those who expect something dusty and dry under the term “museum”, you will be surprised at how much tongue in cheek you can present the story. Already in the parking lot in front of the museum, a plastic sailor with spherical googly eyes stares at us from his rowboat and gives us a little foretaste of what awaits us in the museum. Another example on our Newfoundland trip from St. John about Trinity up to here, which shows the humor of the Newfoundland.




Rowboat - Fishing Museum in Twillingate Newfoundland
Rowboat in the Fisheries Museum in Twillingate Newfoundland


The Fisheries Museum in Twillingate Newfoundland

David Boyd and his wife Christine remember in their small fishing museum in Twillingate Newfoundland the golden days of fishing off the coast of Newfoundland when fishing was still the main source of income on the island. David had gone out to sea with his father and had learned from him how to catch fish and how to process them. These times have passed since the end of the 20th century when a moratorium on the Canadian government banned fishing for cod because the number had dropped dramatically. While there have been encouraging signs of a recovery in fish stocks since 2005, there is still a long way to go before cod levels return to their former levels. And many former fishermen have since moved to other industries and given up fishing, which has often been a family tradition for generations.


Fishing boat - fishing museum in Twillingate Newfoundland
fishing boat


Prime Berth - the fishing museum in Twillingate

It was similar with David Boyd. He had grown up in a fishing family in Twillingate Newfoundland, and his father's house had once held the lottery where the best place - the "Prime Berth" - had been raffled off for trapping. Every May, the Twillingate fishermen gathered in his father's kitchen, hoping to get this space for their cod traps. In memory of this, David and his wife named their museum after this event.


Lobster trap and buoys
Lobster trap and buoys


The two have brought all sorts of utensils together to show posterity how fishing was done in Twillingate. There are lobster traps and buoys to admire, anchor chains and lines, nets, oars and dories, the small boats with which they controlled their nets off the coast. In her fishing museum in Twillingate Newfoundland you can learn a lot about the island's fishing.




Whaling around Newfoundland

From the days when whaling was still allowed, the - Fisheries Museum in Twillingate Newfoundland shows the impressive pine population of the whales with whale species filtering krill and plankton, the tiny sea creatures that feed them. It is hard to believe that the biggest sea creatures can survive on the smallest animals living in the sea.


Drying the fish
Drying the fish


dried fish

Funny plastic figures in the Fisheries Museum in Twillingate Newfoundland show how once the caught fish was laid out to dry - a laborious job, since the fish had to be gutted first and then filleted before being dried on wooden scaffolding in the sun. These fish drying plants must have an intense fragrance running for miles, as you can imagine. At that time there were no cooling systems.





Another way to preserve the fish was to salt the fish fillets. David and his crew are happy to show this on request. There is a lot of interesting things to discover and learn in this varied fishing museum in Twillingate Newfoundland, which could hardly better present the history of the region, but also the humorous mentality of the Newfoundland. So our conclusion is: a visit to the "Prime Berth" museum is a must to get to Twillingate, Newfoundland.

The Prime Berth Fisheries Museum in Twillingate Newfoundland is just off Highway 340, left behind the bridge to South Twillingate Island.



That's what you need on a trip to Newfoundland

  • Good hiking bootsBecause many of Newfoundland's landscapes are best explored on foot
  • In summer: one waterproof rain jacketthat protects against the fresh breeze from the sea. In the spring: a wax jacket, because it provides even better protection against the wind and cold on boats and icebergs.
  • Since a journey through Newfoundland always leads through rough terrain and unpredictable weather, we recommend one Protective cover for the mobile phone * and one (as watertight as possible) Backpack for the camerain which you can safely store lenses and accessories.
  • Even if you are traveling in the north of Canada, the sun can shine intensely here. Therefore, you should definitely one Sunglasses*, Sunscreen with high sun protection factor * and one Wide brimmed hat have along.
  • Because of the unpredictable weather, you should dress in several layers. So you can quickly adapt to the new conditions in case of a change of weather. A Fleece jacket * is very helpful.


Twillingate Newfoundland Prime Berth
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Sources - Fisheries Museum in Twillingate Newfoundland: own research on site

Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline

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