Fish flake

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A fish flake is a platform built on poles and spread with boughs for drying cod-fish on the foreshore of fishing villages and small towns in rural Newfoundland, Canada. Spelling variations for fish flake in Newfoundland include flek, fleyke, fleake, flaik and fleack. Its first recorded use in connection with fishing appeared in Richard Whitbourne's book Newfoundland (1623, p. 57).


The flake consists of a horizontal framework of small poles (called lungers), sometimes covered with spruce boughs, and supported by upright poles, the air having free access beneath. Here the cod are spread out to bleach in the sun and air after the fish has been curing all summer in stages under a heavy spreading of salt. There are two types of common known flakes during the height of the fishing season, one was a permanent structure as described above and the other called a hand flake that could be erected on short notice and provided for more area in the event that a fishing season was rather profitable.

Flake and fish store

The fish flake was a permanent structure that was part of the landscape of a fishing village. These were not located too far away from the fishing stages that were built on the shoreline. The flake was built high off the ground and required stable construction with a sloping ramp to gain access to it. The ramp was required such that fishermen carried a full load of fish on barrows was able to negotiate its accent. At one end of the flake was built a...
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