The climate in the islands is characterized by a cold borderline humid continental to subarctic climate due to the influence of polar air masses and the cold Labrador Current. The islands do not have its moments of sunshine due to the cold, damp and foggy weather. It just has windy autumns and springs. The islands receive precipitation in the form of snowfall and rainfall due to its location at the confluence of cold waters at the Labrador Current and the warm waters at the Gulf Stream. The summer months in the islands are pleasant and last from June to September, followed by the autumn and winters. The weather here in the islands is rather volatile.
Port of Saint Pierre during the winters.
Traditionally the people living here have earned their livelihood by fishing and by servicing fishing fleets operating off the coast of Newfoundland. The harsh climatic conditions and small amount of land hardly favours different activities like farming and livestock, which limits the growing season only for a few weeks. The economy has been declining over the years due to depletion of fish stocks and the ban imposed by the Canadian government on all cod fishing. To diversify the local economy and help the people – fish farming, crab fishing and agriculture are being developed and promoted. The only natural resources that now can help the economy are its fish reserves and its natural harbours as even the industries revolve around them providing employment to the people as the chief industries here are of fish and supplying fishing fleets. Tourism is a budding industry here. Exports from the island include fish, crustaceans, and animal food, soybeans and mink furs.
The art of Saint Pierre and Miquelon usually revolves around the things that the people of the island can fashion out of the codfish skins and fox fur. However, making jams out of the locally available berries like blueberry and cloudberry is a traditional art passed down from generation to generation.
The composite culture is referred as French; there is an element which is called ‘Basque pride’. In display of this pride, the islands host ‘Basque festival’. The main purpose of this festival revolves around the display of ‘Harrijasotzaile’ (stone heaving), ‘aizkolari’ (lumberjack skills) and ‘Paleta’ which is basically a game that determines concentration and perseverance.
The music in the islands lack a distinct musical tradition and is basically not different from the music tradition of France, though the chief attraction of Saint Pierre and Miquelon lies in the fact that it hosts numerous music festivals. Some of them are Snow crab festival and Les Deferlantes Atlantiques Music Festival.
Since many years, there has been no direct air link between the islands and mainland France. Saint-Pierre airport was opened to overcome this problem, however, the situation remained unchanged. Flights from and to Saint Pierre all pass through Canada. While the islands do not have railway due to lesser area with unpaved roads. There is just a major harbour at Saint Pierre and a smaller harbour at Miquelon. Although, there is a regular passenger-ferry service provided between Saint Pierre and the town of Fortune, Newfoundland, but the ferry does not carry vehicles.
The island lacks any special or distinctive flora due to its rugged and barren terrain. Only weather-resistant plants grow in the country. Same is with the fauna of this country, it is not at all diverse. Rabbits, hares, deer and seals are found inhabiting in the island. There were foxes once but they too have become extinct now. The chief fish found in the waters and around the island are cod and migrating whales. However, there is a wide variety of avian section, including Ground Dove, Mourning Dove, Rose Breasted Grosbeak, Black Hawk, White-Necked Jacobin, Green-Throated Mango, Caribbean Martin, Pine Siskin, White-Throated Sparrow, Tree Swallow, Cocoa Thrush and the Downy Woodpecker.
-Green Throated Mango
-Rose Breasted Grosbeak