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Reflections of the Past

The Theresa E. Connor, here still wearing her winter protective shroud, is Canada’s oldest remaining saltbank schooner. Built in 1938 in Lunenburg, the Connor fished the Grand Banks as a dory and trawl-line schooner for 25 years. She retired home in the spring of 1963 after her captain was no longer able to attract enough crew to make the trip to the banks. More modern trawlers using huge nets were more productive and safer for the fishermen than the two-man dories and hook and line. Large-scale fishing companies utilizing “hundred trawlers” (boats over 100 feet long), and draggers soon changed the face of east-coast fishing as independent fish harvesters found it difficult to compete. Over the next few decades, however, the fishing industry would see more change with economic pressures, overfishing and environmental concerns, and the implementation of regulations, licensing and quotas.

Now serving at the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic, the Theresa E. Connor is a fine example of perhaps the best-known and best-loved wooden boats to have sailed Nova Scotia’s waters.

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