National Geographic : 1929 Jul
THE SEALING SAGA OF NEWFOUNDLAND © Iolloway WHEN A SKIPPER'S WORRIES BEGIN No captain is at ease when his crew goes on the ice. Stormy March bears many an ill wind imperiling sealers. Men have been lost on the ice in blizzards and fogs, but weather reports by wireless from Toronto and Washington have reduced the dangers and casualties of the seal fishery. small groups, but only the hood and the harp herds beat away to the northward and return to their whelping grounds in an annual migration over 2,000 miles of ocean. ESKIMOS TRAP SEALS IN NETS AS BIG HERDS MOVE IN SEASONAL MIGRATIONS While on Arctic expeditions in recent summers I have frequented Jones Sound and the north water of the whalers, and there I have seen large schools of harps. In talking with the Eskimos and the white residents of Baffin Island, Hudson Strait, and Labrador, they told me of the migra tion-how in the spring they catch the seals in nets and weirs, as the herds work north along the Labrador coast and across the Hudson Strait and its northern shore, on north along the harbors and inlets of Baffin Island and Ellesmere Island; and again, in October, when the herds return, the Eskimos and livyeres (whites who live permanently on the Labrador coast) set their nets. SThe hoods come south, along the west side of Greenland, a little later than the harps come along the Labrador coast. When the former reach the end of Green land they go across about 500 miles of open sea to the Labrador coast. The harps come on down, and in the month of Jan uary they are off Battle Harbor. They continue southward to the Grand Banks, where they fill up with cod, herring, and capelin. They get well fattened, so their newborn pups may have rich milk, show ing how wise are the workings of Nature.