The Trawlermen by Clarence Vautier

Clarence Vautier was born in 1972 in La Poile, Newfoundland. He moved away to attend high school, and after high school, he fished with his father, Clarence Sr., and his brother Raymond for a short time. He later went to work as a deck officer on the Great Lakes, first for P & H Shipping, then for Algoma Central Marine, where he remains today. Clarence Vautier currently resides in St. John’s with his wife, Marina, and their son, Brandon Daniel. He has written two other books for Flanker Press, Beneath the Waves (2006) and People of the Sea (2011)

The Trawlermen (2017, Flanker Press) is primarily about the trawlers working out of Nova Scotian and Newfoundland ports in the post-WWII era to the present. It is full of stories of lives lived as well as the inevitable loss of life to those who live their lives on the Atlantic Ocean, attempting to extract a living from it. The Trawlermen, however, also tells the stories of the ships themselves, their construction, the years and crews they served and, sadly, their final days. Most sad are the images of the vessels that still remain aground on the rocks, stripped of anything useful and rusting away. To the book’s credit, there are many B & W images, many from the author’s own collection that are used generously throughout the pages of The Trawlermen.

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My only negative comment is that there is no introduction about what exactly a trawling vessel is designed to do, how it operates, or what type of fish it is designed to catch. This would be helpful for readers like me who might be unfamiliar with the fishing industry. Nevertheless, I’m sure that this book was published with its target audience of Atlantic fishery enthusiasts and participants in mind. Another nicely produced book from Flanker, fitting for any maritime bookshelf.

The Trawlermen by Clarence Vautier Jr.
Flanker Press

James M. Fisher is the owner and editor-in-chief of The Miramichi Reader. He began TMR in 2015, realizing that there was a genuine need for more book reviews of Canadian literature. It has since become Canada’s best-regarded source for the finest in new literary releases. James has been interviewed about TMR on CBC Radio and other media sites. James works as a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Technologist and lives in Miramichi, New Brunswick with his wife Diane and their tabby cat Eddie.