As settlement in North America expanded, so did the volume and complexity of transatlantic trade, with significant consequences for the economies and settlements of maritime Europe. Newfoundland contributed to the economy of coastal Europe even before permanent settlement was established. The migratory cod fishery had a greater impact on certain parts of maritime Europe (West Country ports such as Poole and Dartmouth, ports on the coast of Brittany and Normandy) than it had on Newfoundland. These ports were mainly the product of a mercantilist mode of exploitation and grew as their overseas staple frontier expanded.
The impact of Newfoundland on Waterford and its hinterland was not as striking as in the ports of the West Country and the Gulf of St. Malo. Waterford was a larger port than any of these, with more far flung and complex trading ties and the transatlantic impact obviously more difficult to measure. But Waterford did have an important mercantile frontier, where merchants in the port collected the staples of the local area, processed them, and sold them overseas. The Newfoundland component was an important one in Waterford’s expanding mercantilist development.