Island Rooms of Petty Harbour

Fishing for Success

Making the Girls of Newfoundland

the Future of the Fishery

Hakai Magazine  highlighted Petty Harbour in its story "Old Coast, New Coast," but this tale could have been told about any outport community in Newfoundland and Labrador. Each struggling to maintain its connection to heritage amid the onslaught of modern changes, economic upheaval, and the unknown that the future brings for all of us. While the coastline and the constructs hugging its shores may change, our connection to the Sea and the iconic Cod will always remain central to our cultural identity....Thank you Raina Delisle for telling one of our stories....Read more HERE 

Girls Who Fishis a program to explore the culture and skill of everything fishing - taught by women for women of all ages 8 to 80+! No longer protected by the father, brother, husband, or boyfriend in your life - you must take the fish off the hook! Or paint a picture, weave some rope, dip for dragonfly nymphs, and even make some music! There will be time for sharing stories as you learn to cork a dory, build a campfire, or make a traditional Petty Harbour fish stew.

We believe that empowering girls and women to develop their own outdoor skills, will lead to confidence in other aspects of life! ...from the shore the boat the boardroom!

Listen as Jane Adey of CBC The Broadcast speaks with some of the founding members HERE

Thank you to

our sponsors:

Have you  been fishing with Leo, yet?

Emily Deming of The Overcast has been fishing with Leo!

Read about her culinary adventure "Catch a Cod, and Use It All"


Terra Barrett of the Heritage Foundation and Kimberly Orren, founding director of Fishing for Success, had a grand gab back in November 2015 about what it means to start a not-for-profit to teach youth and tourists about our fishing heritage. Listen in to the discussion about Kimberly's memories of her first fish, science education, getting kids interested in fishing, and everything from caplin and sharks to traditional fishing marks! Listen Here

Teaching children the path from the field to the fork key to better health......

A PhD student from the Faculty of Medicine says there needs to be a culture shift in how we understand school food.

Emily Doyle is examining the school food system in Newfoundland and Labrador thanks to a $40,000 research grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Field to fork

She says using school food to educate kids about the overall food system - the path from the field to the fork - and the important role food plays in building healthy communities will help children in the long run.

                               ........Continue Reading HERE

Engaging Youth in the Fishery...

Rebekah Nolan joined Kimberly Orren and Leo Hearn of Fishing for Success on a fishing trip! Cod fishing, of course! We were fortunate to have Fred Winsor of Sierra Club Canada, join us, too. Hear about the hook & line fishery only in Petty Harbour and the history of the cod moratorium.

We had an exciting trip and brought home some fish to share as food with family and friends. Listen to the sounds of our fishing trip! Listen as Kimberly catches a fish, Leo processes it and meet some of the members of our Girls Who Fish program.

Sounds so'll swear you were in the boat with us!

Check out the podcast on Tom Wilmer's NPR web page HERE 

Want to join our Girls Who Fish program?

Email us at

Sea Change for Refugees

Resetting the Stage

An exciting return to traditional ways

Fishing for Success

A program unfolding in Petty Harbour will preserve an important part of the province's past for future generations.

It's the middle of December and it's hard to see Petty Harbour through the pea soup fog. Even the sharpest filleting knife couldn't cut through it. But deep down in the gut of the harbour, at a place known as "Island Rooms," the little fishing sheds line up alongside the wharf like soldiers on guard, and the boats bob determinedly up and down in the water as if waiting to ring in a new era. There's something special happening in this small, historic fishing village.

.......Continue reading HERE

Have you ever wanted to learn how to knit a net or weave a withe?

Last Spring, just before the fishing started, we gathered at a local shed - the waterShed Coffee Shop, that is!  And learned traditional skills and shared stories while knitting twine

Many thanks to the Wellness Coalition-Avalon East for funding the project. And thank you to Jane Adey of CBC The Broadcast who stopped by to have a gab with some of our new knitters! 

Click HERE and HERE to have a listen.

We are sending our best wishes your way for a happy & healthy New Year!

Wonder what we've been up to this past Spring, Summer & Fall?

Check out our Fall 2016 Newsletter

Read all about Creature Feature, Girls Who Fish, our first Youth Cod Fishery, Heritage Fair, Twine Loft, and Wild Family Nature Club....

Girls Who Fish

An article written by our project manager about Project WET for the Fall 2015 Water News Magazine of the Canadian Water Resources Association was then picked up by the parent Project WET organization in the US!

A Canadian not-for-profit and member of Project WET Canada, Fishing for Success at Island Rooms of Petty Harbour aims to teach youth and tourists about the natural and cultural heritage of the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador through the re-creation of traditional family inshore fishing practices. In a recent issue of the Canadian Water Resources Association magazine WaterNews, Kimberly Orren, the project manager and founding director of Fishing for Success, explained why water education is a core part of their mission. "If we are going to hitch kids with nature
through fishing, we need to connect with what they are learning in the classroom before (and after!) youth come out to Fishing for Success," she notes in her following
guest post, an adaptation of the WaterNews article. "Increasing kids' contact time with water education through Project WET instruction in the classroom contributes to the success of our own aquatic education program.".......CONTINUE READING HERE

What is Island Rooms of Petty Harbour?

Why is it special to the fishermen and fishmakers of Petty Harbour?

How has Petty Harbour changed since the fish is now frozen instead of being salted and dried?

How has it changed since youth can no longer participate in the fishery by gutting and cutting fish tongues?

Read about one Petty Harbour fisherman's perspective on these changes - HERE

Fishing for Success by Kimberly Orren

We are a Sea People, once described by Winston Churchill as the “world’s best small boatmen.” Yet an entire generation has come to adulthood since the cod moratorium. And those of us who may have grown up with our butts in a punt, now have children and grandchildren who spend more time on a virtual screen than at a splitting table!

Just as we celebrated the beginning of Canada’s 150th birthday year, let’s not forget that 2017 also marks the 25th anniversary of the cod moratorium in Newfoundland and Labrador. If you were fortunate enough to grow up here before the cod moratorium, you may have memories of being able to participate in the traditional fishery as a youngster. Perhaps you helped gut fish or cut tongues, you had the opportunity to learn traditional heritage skills at the elbows of your elders and then earn money or bring home a bag of fish for your work! You learned about the value of work and developed pride because you were helping your community and your family. You developed a connection to your fishing heritage, your community and this Place.

This is no longer the case for youth growing up today.

........Continue reading HERE

Old Coast, New Coast, Petty Harbour

Petty Harbour Twine Loft

gazette: food for thought

Happy Holidays!and Fall 2016 News

Caitlin Bolduc-Whelan speaks to Jamie Fitzpatrick of CBC The Broadcast and shares her experience working at Island Rooms of Petty Harbour this past Summer 2016.

Caitlin tells about her background in folklore, how our culture leads back to the fishery, and there is "no better experience than being on the water!"

She believes that participating in heritage activities contribute to "Sense of Place" and is vital to keeping our youth here or bringing them back!

Listen HERE for full interview on CBC The Broadcast.

Living Heritage Podcast

Fishing for Success believes that we should LIVE ~ SHARE ~ CELEBRATE our traditional fishing heritage! And what a better way to do that than to invite new Canadians to Island Rooms of Petty Harbour to share a meal of fish stew and enjoy a ride in our beautiful dory flats!

Thank you to the RIAC volunteers who arranged transportation, all the families who brought their own cultural food to share and trusted us enough to climb into little wooden boats! A grand time was had by all! 

Look HERE for the video report  by CBC's Angela Antle

Fishing for Success: Youth learning about their fishing heritage and then bringing food home to their family!

Thank you very much to CBC Fisheries Broadcast for giving Fishing for Success the opportunity to speak about our programs-in-development that aim to teach our youth about their fishing heritage .....and then get their fish on the plate! 

This was way back in Nov 2014!​

So many barriers to overcome.......

We won't give up!

It is too important.

Fishing for Success: NL Organization Formed

to Pass on Traditional Industrial Practices

The name Petty Harbour has been synonymous with the fishery for centuries. And Kimberly Orren would like to ensure that it stays that way for many more years to come.

Orren is the executive director of Fishing for Success, a new non-profit organization formed to help preserve traditional fishing knowledge in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Petty Harbour-Maddox Cove resident explained her vision for the fledgling organization is "one day every child in the province will once again be taught the traditional fishing knowledge and skill of their ancestors and this will instill in them a sense of pride, of place, and a longing to protect and conserve their natural home."

"To fish for a living is one of the most honourable things you can do -

to provide food for your community and food for your family is an honourable thing. We don't do enough to recognize the work that our fishers do for us."

........Continue reading HERE


Got time? Curious about some of the teaching and learning ideas behind Fishing for Success programs?

The Heaving Line