Herring Neck is a fishing community located at the northeastern extremity of New World Island, Notre Dame Bay of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. The community encompasses several small contiguous communities such as Merritt’s Harbour, Hatchet Harbour, Salt Harbour and Sunnyside.
The origin of the name comes from the early fishermen’s practice of portaging loads of herring across the narrow neck of Pike’s Arm. This was necessary to avoid the journey around the arm and the treacherous headwaters.
It is believed the first European settler of the area was Jimmy Chant in the 1760s. It first appeared in the Census of 1845 with a population of 546, which included the surrounding settlements as noted above. By 1857 the population had reached 610 and peaked out near 1000 in the 1880s. It remained around that figure until the 1930s, from where it has steadily declined to 607 in the 1981 census and to 20 in the 2016 Canadian Census. The population has continued to decline due to the cod moratorium and the downsizing of the fish processing plant in the community. Many have left the community to seek employment in larger communities.
Herring Neck held a Come Home Year in the summer of 2014 and continues to hold an annual festival by the name of the “Herring Neck Dory Festival” on the second last weekend of July.
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