Town of Fogo Island

Seldom-Little Seldom

Fogo Island Marine Interpretation Centre

Fogo Island Marine Interpretation Centre

Harbour Drive, Seldom
49° 36' 36.02"N 54° 11' 06.54" W

The Fogo Island Marine Information Centre is located in Seldom on Route 333, a 10 minute drive from the ferry terminal at Man O'War Cove. If travelling by boat it is located off the northeast coast of Newfoundland on the main shipping route to Seldom. Seldom has a natural deep water port with easy access. The harbour has a water depth ranging from 3-9 fathoms deep.

Enjoy touring the museum and neighboring Cod Liver Oil Factory. Featuring displays, artifacts and literature, it's a great place to step back in time on Fogo Island.

Come and experience one of the most diverse bird colonies in the Northwest Atlantic through presentation and display — The Funk Islands and the now extinct Great Auk.

We offer docking for yachts and other leisure boats, as well as a by-the-sea picnic area, local craft store, laundry, public shower facilities and wireless internet.

Fisherman's Union Trading Company Limited

White Retail Store

The Fishermen's Union Trading Company was formed in 1909 by William F. Coaker. In 1913 a branch store was opened in Seldom Come By. Its purpose was to provide a Co-operative for fishermen.

The "Co-op" funds would be used to purchase supplies in bulk. The supplies would then be sold at the Trading Company at cost so fishermen could buy goods at fair prices. The store operated on a barter system basis - customers would receive winter provisions in exchange for their summers catch of fish.

Eventually new businesses opened operating by cash, thus, leading the customers to shop elsewhere. As a result the Trading Company experienced a decline in customers and closed on May 20, 1978.

Red Fish Store

This building was built over 100 years ago by a merchant, named Duder. The first floor was used to store salt, kerosene and other fuels. Salt was loose and had to be shoveled when needed. Fishermen would come and buy salt to do their own saltbulk fish.

Fishermen would ship their dried salt fish to the store and then it would be culled into different grades. The fish would be packed in barrels and stored on the second floor for schooners to pick up and carry to other markets. Most commonly known boats were the Swile and the Young Hood.

Cod Liver Oil Factory

Fishermen would keep the cod livers from their fish, store them in drums and then sell them to the merchants. It would then be placed in large tanks and boiled so that the oil would render out and the waste would settle to the bottom. The oil would then be stored in two 5,000 gallon holding tanks in preparation for shipment to U.S. destinations.

The Fogo Process

In the 1950s and early 1960s Fogo Island witnessed a serious decline in the cod stocks, causing fishermen to quit fishing and merchants to close shop. The future of Fogo Island was beginning to look very bleak.

Premier Joseph Smallwood met with Fogo Islanders and presented them with three choices… 1) resettle; 2) drift and perish; or 3) develop. The residents responded… they wanted to stay.

Residents then formed an Improvements Committee which went on to establish a Producer's Co-operative Society. Using "Co-op" membership fees and a loan obtained from the Bank of Nova Scotia, they started their development plan. The first step was to build a shipyard.

Fogo Island Shipbuilders Co-operative

The formation of the Fogo Island Shipbuilders Co-operative took place on December 8, 1967 at the Fogo Island Motel. There were 124 people attending and everyone became a member by buying one share each at a cost of $5.00 per share.

The shipyard enabled the Co-operative to build larger, more modern vessels. The foundation for the shipyard was laid on February 13, 1968. On November 5, 1968 the shipyards first four longliners were launched into the Atlantic waters. During operation of the shipyard over 30 vessels were built.

The link below will take you to the National Film Board of Canada where you can view all the films made by acclaimed film maker Mr. Colin Low in 1967. These films took on a life of its own and with the help of government officials eventually led to the formation of the Fogo Island Co-op.

Fogo Island Co-operative Society Limited

In later years, the Shipbuilders Co-operative was changed to the Fogo Island Co-operative Society Limited and focus shifted from the boat building to fish processing. From 1967 until present the Co-op has successfully operated a fish processing operation that has provided stability and security for the residents of Fogo Island.

The Co-op operates three seafood processing plants in Seldom, Joe Batt's Arm and Fogo: processing snowcrab, shrimp, turbot, cod, sea cucumber, capelin, herring, mackerel, lumpfish and various flatfish. They continue to grow in other areas of the Province in other species such as Scallop, Lobster, Whelk and Atlantic Halibut.

For more information on the Fogo Island Co-operative Society Limited visit their website at: