Back

Fishing Grounds of the Gulf of Maine

Banquereau. Separated from the Western Bank by The Gully, this has a very irregular form - the main bank roughly rectangular, with a narrow west- erly extension of comparatively regular form. Its length, E. and W., is about 120 miles, its greatest width about 47 miles, and its total area about 2,800 miles.

The main portion of the bank lies between 44 04' and 45 01' north latitude and 67 10' and 59. 00' west longitude, and the western prolongation lies between 44 24' and 44 42' north latitude and 69 00' and 80 05' west longi- tude. North of Banquereau lies Artimon, distant 3 miles, and Misaine, distant from 2 to 15 miles according to the places from which measurements are taken. The currents here are of varying force, much influenced by the wind, so that several days of strong tides may be followed by intervals when there is little if any current.

On the eastern part of Quereau is an area of shoal ground called the Rocky Bottom, having a depth of about 18 fathoms; elsewhere depths run from 18 to 50 fathoms. For the most part the bottom is rocky, but there are scattered patches of sand and gravel.

Cod and halibut are the principal food fishes taken, hake, haddock, and cusk being taken in small numbers. The Rocky Bottom, a shoal ground of 20 to 25 fathom depths on the eastern part, was much resorted to by dory handliners in summer. The cod are most plentiful on the eastern part of the bank, though occasional good fares are taken toward the west. The best cod fishing on this bank Is from May until September, when the schools gather to feed upon the lant, squid, crustaceans, and shellfish, then very abundant.

Halibut are found here all the year off the edges in 100 to 400 fathoms. Apparently these are feeding and breeding grounds for this species, and it is not unusual for a school to remain for weeks and even months in one locality, though some of these may be fish in migration northward.

The principal halibut grounds are along the southern and eastern borders of the bank - the Southwest Prong and the Southwest Cove (in about 44' N. lat. and between 58 30' and 58 55' W. long), the Middle Prong 44 14' N. lat. and 58' W. long.), and the Eastern Slope (44 28' to 45 00' N. lat.) - in depths of :50 to 400 fathoms.

These deep-water areas are rocky and support a very rich growth of gorgonians, corals, sea anemones, etc. The Eastern Slope has an abundance of bank clams in depths of 25 fathoms. These beds are good hand-line grounds for cod. The halibut, too, feeds to a considerable extent upon these red clams.

Back