The Magdalen Islands (French, Îles de la Madeleine) form a small archipelago in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence with a land area
of 206 square miles. Though closer to Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia, the islands form part of the Canadian
province of Quebec and most of the population speak French.
One of the major sources of income on the islands is fishing, particularly lobster fishing. There are five hundred people with
licenses to trap lobster. For two months a year in May and June they are permitted to use 279 traps.
In the winter time their boats and traps can be seen all over the islands, often in their yards.
|The Magdalen Islands (French, Îles de la Madeleine)
The lobster traps are hand made by the lobster fishermen.
There were also a few snow crab traps.
This Catholic Church reflects the fishing tradition of the islands.
These are the confessional booths!
Ice fishing is a popular sport on the islands. This was a nice day so some of the fishermen were fishing outside.
These ice houses are towed out on the ice for fishing. Most of these houses are not much bigger than an out house.
|Inside an ice fishing house.
The red sand stone cliffs on the north side of the islands are eroding at a pace of about two feet a year.
The islands have lots of sand dunes and beaches which are covered in ice and snow in the winter. In the summer the islands
are a popular tourist destination, particularly for people from the province of Quebec.
Over 400 ships have wrecked on the islands. Many people on the islands are descendants of ship wrecked persons.
Eventually light houses were built to help prevent these wrecks. Today the lighthouses are automated and are less important
due to modern navigation instruments.