Pour une histoire de la pêche: le marché de la morue à Marseille au XVIIIe siècle


  • Laurier Turgeon


This paper attempts to trace the parameters of a social and economic history of the Newfoundland fisheries. It examines the relationship between the total catch off Newfoundland (French and English) and the consumption of cod in Marseilles, one of the main Mediterranean fish markets in the eighteenth century. Although market conditions and fishing techniques are not to be underestimated, the dynamics of fish stocks seem to be the determining factor in the production and consumption of cod in the early modern economy. The greatest increase in production occurred during the good fishing seasons of the 1730s when the demand for cod diminished at a time of a general rise in prices. As a result, fish merchants such as Baillon, a Saint-Malo outfitter, went into debt. Social and cultural traits of the fishermen are mentioned but not studied.