The Grand Banks, the Richest Fishing Ground in the World
September 25, 2007 9:07pm CST
John and Sebastian Cabot sailed back across the North Atlantic with bad news for their patron, King Henry VII of England. Instead of a short sea route to Japan and India, they had found only rocky, icy coasts. It was as a mere afterthought that they mentioned that they had visited a place near what they called New Found Isle. The codfish were so plentiful there that when the sailors had lowered baskets into the water and hoisted them up, they were full of squirming, silvery fish. Although the merchants and the nobles at court did not care about this dicovery, the fishermen of Europe became very interested. Before long, many fishermen were sailing across the Atlantic to Newfoundland in their little fishing boats and bringing back great numbers of dried fish for the kitchens of Europe. In time, the right to fish the Grand Banks came to be considered far more valuable than all the treasure of the fabled East. The Grand Banks were, and still are. the richest fishing ground in the world.