Cold Water Cowboys follows the action on fishing boats off the coast of Newfoundland through one intense fishing season. This salty brotherhood from Canada’s most unique region faces swells as high as houses and icebergs the size of small cities as they fish for riches hundreds of miles offshore in the North Atlantic. It’s a tough job—tough on boats, tough on gear, tough on the human body—but these bred-in-the-bone fishermen wouldn’t have it any other way.
The fishermen of Newfoundland inherited of a way of life that stretches back generations. Disaster struck in 1992 when the cod stock collapsed. A moratorium was declared, effectively shutting the fishery down overnight. Our captains are the stubborn men who survived this calamity and retooled, building a billion dollar industry on new catches: crab, shrimp, turbot, herring, and mackerel. Today—like their fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers before them—they are fishing the North Atlantic with all their hearts. Hometown pride and friendly competition rule the day, but when push comes to shove, they’re all part of the same fiercely held fraternity.
Still, there are countless challenges. The fishing season is a race against time and other boats. There’s only so much to catch and so much time to do it. Add in mechanical failures, damaged gear, and the uncertainty of just where exactly the catch is hiding, and you begin to get a sense of a day in the life of our fishermen.
And then there’s the weather. They don’t call the east coast of Newfoundland “Iceberg Alley” for nothing. Once the ice melts, summer hurricane season and fall storms are no cakewalk.
No matter what the fishermen after, the goal remains the same – fill the hatch and make money, as much and as fast as possible. When they finally hang up their gear and count their winnings at the end of season, they’ll see just how much they have to survive another long winter—and they’ll start dreaming and scheming for next season.
PRODUCTION COMPANY: Paperny Entertainment Inc.