Fishing Admiral

Fishing Admiral, a position of authority claimed by the first fishing ship's captain to enter each Newfoundland harbour every year, although in some harbours in the 1500s each ship's captain may have taken a turn during the fishing season. The practice was in effect by the late 1500s and continued to some extent until the late 1700s. Their authority confirmed by a British charter in 1633, the fishing admirals, in addition to having the choice location in their harbour, were responsible for enforcing British regulations and law. Together with the second and third captains to enter the harbour - the vice-admiral and rear-admiral - the fishing admiral administered the earliest form of "government" in Newfoundland. Since they were simply ships' captains, the justice they dispensed was often wanting, and many accounts of abuses appeared in the historical records.

See also FISHERIES HISTORY.