The Fishery of Prince Edward Island


211 pages
Contains Illustrations, Index
ISBN 0-920304-58-3





Maurice J. Scarlett is a geography professor at the Memorial University
of Newfoundland.


Kennedy Wells is a writer and broadcaster who lives near Alberton, Prince Edward Island. His experience includes work with the Canadian Press, Reuters, and CBC-TV. What he has written is a study of the fishery of Prince Edward Island which, “it is hoped ... will help Islanders better understand an industry which has such a significant effect on their lives.” In fairness at the outset it should be noted that he does rather more than this.

The impetus for the study came from William Murphy, former area director of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and it has been carried forward under the direction of the Institute of Island Studies, formerly the Island Studies Committee, of the University of Prince Edward Island.

The book is arranged in two parts: the first concerns the present fishery and the rather longer second part traces historically the changes from the pre-European period to the present. Following is an appendix detailing fish species and a note on sources. It is illustrated with maps, black and white photography and drawings which add significantly to the overall attractiveness. The introduction acknowledges the “advice and assistance of graphic artists Ken Shelton and P. John Burden and editor Deirdre Kessler” but though careful examination reveals that Burden drew many of the illustrations, it is not clear that Shelton drew the maps, except by consulting the list of permissions. Their work deserves more explicit recognition.

The study is a useful summary of the past and the present, well written and with just the right balance of scholarship and readability. It should find ready acceptance, and not only among Islanders. It could indeed stimulate efforts to produce similar studies of other industries, not only fishing, in Atlantic Canada: if so we could have additional reason to be grateful for this effort. Production by Ragweed Press of Charlottetown is of a commendably good standard, except that some of the photography is a little dense.


Wells, Kennedy, “The Fishery of Prince Edward Island,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 21, 2024,