Economy of the Magdalen Islands
The Magdalen Islands archipelago comprises about a dozen islands. The largest are interconnected by long, thin and sand dunes. The names of the largest islands are: Ile de la Grande Entree Island and Grosse Ile, Ile aux Loups, Ile du Havre aux Maisons, Ile du Cap aux Meules, and Ile du Havre Aubert.
The total population is of about 13 thousand. The Entry Island, located 10 km east of Havre Aubert, is inhabited, as well as the Brion Island lying 16 km north of Grosse Ile.
Smaller islands are Rocher aux Oiseaux, Ile aux Loups-marins, Ile Paquet, and Rocher du Corps Mort. Today, the economy of the islands is based on fishing and tourism. Commercial fishing includes lobster, snow crab, pelagic fish (mackerel and herring), scallops, ground fish, such as cod, ocean perch, flounder and halibut, mussels, whelks, spiny dogfish, and surf clams. The fishing industry is reflected in many tourist activities here.
Tourists enjoy walking on the wharves and in the ports. Many fishing trips are offered and regional cooking is wonderful. Tourism is the second industry on the Magdalen islands. It is growing fast. Vacationers come here looking for peace and quiet in an unspoiled natural setting, as well as to fraternise with a unique culture and heritage. Salt mining is still an important economic activity, and brings rather important revenues to the economy.
As to agricultural activities, it is considered an expanding industry.
The Magdalen Islands produce eggs, cheese, beef and honey. In season, local market gardeners offer vegetables and herbs.
A few interesting festivals and other events are held here annually. We can mention as examples, the Country Fair of Island of Cap-aux-Meules, which offers an excellent opportunity to discover the local cuisine; Figurative painting Symposium in L'Etang-du-Nord, presenting both local and off-island artists, with paintings on site, exhibitions and sale of paintings.