A part of Canada since 1949, Newfoundland is both, far removed from North America’s major population centres, and at the same time providentially placed at the intersection of transatlantic trade routes, and historically rich fishing grounds. For centuries, explorers and other seafarers have made their way to its rocky shores, where they have felt the sublime sense of remoteness that pervades its lonely landscapes.
Newfoundland’s coastal outports, of which Fogo Island’s eleven scattered communities are prime examples, are microcosms of this geographic paradox. Staring down the ocean’s bleak expanse, they exude a rugged isolationism tinged with the proud sense of worldliness shared by maritime communities around the world. Often inaccessible by land, the sea has been their lifeblood, their fortunes ebbing and flowing with the fate of Newfoundland’s now-defunct cod fishery.