Essay Guide
Québec History
Civilisation Occidentale
About Claude Bélanger

Whale Bones in Labrador


Photos courtesy of Thomas Gollnik (Berlin, Germany)

These photographs were taken in June 2005 at Boney Shore, Red Bay, Labrador. They show 500 years old whale bones. The Basques, from Spain and France, were the first to hunt whales along the shores of Labrador in the 16th century. They were dominant in the trade until late in the same century. However, overfishing and strong competition from the Dutch and the English led to a rapid decline of the industry on the coast of Labrador. The Basque's method of whale fishing was to hunt them with harpoons from small boats and to drag the whales unto the beach where they would be taken apart.

In the waters along the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador whale watching is now a favourite tourist pastime. Several different kinds of whales may be seen; among them are the blue, fin, minke and humpback whales.

On the history of whaling in Newfoundland, consult this page at the site.


© 2004 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College