Red Bay

From 1540 to the beginning of the 1600s, Red Bay was one of the most important Basque whaling station. This chapter of its history remained unknown until the 1970s when archivist Selma Barkham discovered, through her study of the Basque archives, that the Basque fishermen practised intensive whale hunting in the strait of Belle-Isle during the XVIe and XVIIe centuries. The whalers established 16 fishing stations along the southern part of Labrador and the lower northern coast of Quebec. Red Bay, then called «Butus», was one of the most important station because of its deep water and its sheltered harbour.