Welcome to                        

La Scie

La Scie, May 2004. Copyright © 2004 Edwin Neeleman
La Scie, May 2004

La Scie is located at the end of route 414 at the head of the Baie Verte Peninsula, between White Bay and Notre Dame Bay on the northeast coast of Newfoundland. There are approximately 1240 people living in La Scie.

La Scie was used by the Basque fisherman who called the fishing station Port de Sege. The French named the town La Scie, meaning The Saw. This refers to the hills around the community which resemble the teeth of a saw.

La Scie was part of the French Shore, Le Petit Nord, from 1504-1904. After the French stopped fishing the area, La Scie was settled by Irish and English fisherman, many of whom were previously living in nearby Shoe Cove.

There are several small islands near La Scie. The most noted are the Horse Islands, which are the two large islands surrounded, in places, by dangerous rocks. Local names such as Hit or Miss Point and Nervous Point tell you the kind of reputation that the islands had among the people who fished and used the waters near Horse Islands.

La Scie once received most supplies by coastal boat until the roads were built. The extending and paving of the roads made a big difference to the development and expansion of the town.

La Scie, May 2004. Copyright © 2004 Edwin Neeleman
The public wharf of La Scie

Fishing Industry

Fishing was always the main employment for the people of La Scie. In 1891 there were 104 residents in La Scie, 32 of whom were fishermen. By 1911, there were 429 people (72 families) living in the community. Most of the families fished for a living. Their catch included cod, herring, salmon, seals and a small landing of lobster.

In 1930 Fisheries Products Limited opened a fish plant which paid the fishermen 3 cents per pound for cod. The plant was only opened for 5 years. July 1960, saw the opening of a new fishplant with 140 employees processing frozen fillets. Job Brothers and Co. Ltd opened up another plant in 1963 and also took salmon along with the codfish. National Sea Products bought the plant from Job Brothers and Co. Ltd in the late 1970's. It employed 500 people in 1978, and in 1981 it employed 665 people. That year 16 million pounds of fish was processed at the plant. Approximately 40 percent of the fish was landed at La Scie. The rest came from 12 other communities on the peninsula. During that year fish was bought from 743 fishermen who operated 316 small boats and 28 longliners.

During the 1984 fishing season, National Sea purchased fish from 932 fisherman, 153 of whom were based in La Scie, while the rest were from the other communities on the Baie Verte Peninsula. Peak employment at that time in the plant was 700 people for the processing of cod, herring, flounder, squid, turbot, mackerel, and caplin. In 1989 the plant processed 22 million pounds of fish.

Nowadays the total number of fisherpeople in La Scie is 281. These fisherpeople have a total number of 141 boats, from small speed boats for inshore fisherpersons to longliners for the offshore fisherpersons. Catch that is brought in on these boats is sold to various fish plants other than National Sea, which is located in La Scie.

La Scie, Island Cove Beach, May 2004. Copyright © 2004 Edwin Neeleman
Island Cove Beach

La Scie, Island Cove RV Park, May 2004. Copyright © 2004 Edwin Neeleman
Island Cove RV Park

The town has a public wharf and also 12 private wharves. Most of these facilities are not in operation to the complete potential since the closure of the cod fishery. Other species did not represent a high percentage of the total catch for this area, and as a result of the restriction placed on cod, it was not feasible for the plant to remain open. The cod moratorium (1991) has had drastic effects on the Town of La Scie, with the decline in employment opportunities.

Tourist Facilities & Attractions

La Scie, with its natural scenic beauty and rugged coastline, is an attractive place for iceberg viewing and whale watching.
The town has good walking facilities. From Island Cove Park a nice blue stairway takes you down to Island Cove Beach. A walking trail will bring you up to the High Lookout.

Places to stay are: Island Cove RV Park, Rogers B&B and Tamarack Park, which is outside of town.

Island Cove RV Park

This scenic campsite offers 9 fully serviced lots; tenting and picknicking areas; full washroom/shower facilities; dumping station.

Outport Museum & Tea Room

Reflecting on a vanishing way of life, the Outport Museum & Tea Room is located on Water Street. This two-story house, built in the early 1940s, offers a glimpse into earlier times. Filled with decor from that period, one can get a sense of what life was like during that time.
Besides a cup of tea or coffee with a choice of traditional Newfoundland pastries the Tea Room also offers traditional Newfoundland food, including jiggs dinner, pea soup and dumplings, and homemade desserts. In 2006 the Tea Room has been recommended by "Where to Eat in Canada" as one of the top places to eat in the country.

Crab Festival

This annual event with three days of food, fun and entertainment, takes place during the last week of July.

La Scie, September 2008. Copyright © 2008 Edwin Neeleman
La Scie, early in the morning, September 2008