Parks Canada Agency
NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR
Property names are listed in the language in which they have been submitted by the State Party.
Located on the Strait of Belle Isle, Red Bay comprises the largest known 16th-century Basque whaling station in North America. The assemblage of submerged and terrestrial archaeological sites represents a thoroughly documented early example of economic exploitation of rich North American natural resources by European commercial interests. Red Bay harbour is an outstanding natural shelter lying on a traditionally rich food resource funnel. Submerged cultural resources found in the harbour include exceptionally well-preserved remains of a number of vessels that illustrate northern Iberian ship- and boat-building technology and whaling activity of the 16th century. The remains of a network of more than a dozen shore stations represent the industrial processes of whaling to produce whale oil prized by the European market. Typically, the stations were comprised of tryworks, cooperages, workshops, dwellings, and wharves. A cemetery, other burial sites, and lookouts are also present. Period artifacts and a massive assemblage of bowhead and right whale bones comprise the collections.