News Release Archive

It's made up of a huge wharf, a schooner, a side trawler, and two
buildings crammed with interesting items.

With its never-ending collection, the Fisheries Museum of the
Atlantic, Lunenburg, answers any questions anyone ever had about
Nova Scotia's long fishing history.

Fishermen from Europe began harvesting Nova Scotia's rich fishing
grounds more than 400 years ago and the industry has been an
important part of Nova Scotia life ever since. The Fisheries
Museum of the Atlantic has captured the historical bond between
the fisheries and Nova Scotians in a collection of anything
ranging from old sea boots, wonderful old photographs, a time
clock made by a fledging IBM company, and the first survival
suits, to a full sized schooner.

Sunday, June 2, is the annual open house at the museum. That
means free admission to pet a lobster, do some scrimshaw and
explore Nova Scotia's fishing heritage. Visitors are invited to
wander through the museum and learn about the days of the first
marine engines, barrel making, working in processing plants, dory
building, the sad August Gales of 1926, and of course, the

Even the museum buildings are part of the fisheries history. The
two buildings were originally part of Lunenburg Sea Products, a
founding member of National Sea Products, North America's largest
fish processor.

Nova Scotia was once a place of intrigue, pass words and gunshots
muffled by fog. Specially, locally designed vessels laden with
kegs of illegal rum slid through the law's fingers. The
province's southern shore, dubbed Rum Row, was a notorious
coastline well known in the United States and Canada.

Almost every coastal community from the Bay of Fundy, around St.
Mary's Bay to the French islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon, is
identified in the "Rum Runners" exhibit in the Fisheries Museum
of the Atlantic. Each community played a role in the trafficking
of alcohol during the prohibition era.

The museum makes learning history fun. Many tidbits of history,
not found in textbooks, can be found at the museum. One example
is the first RCMP plane, used to track rum runners, which
communicated with RCMP vessels by dropping a note in a bottle
into the sea.

Visitors can clamber aboard the schooner Theresa E. Connor, or
the side trawler Cape North and watch shipboard activities, or go
exploring on their own.

The stars of the show are at the first floor aquarium, which is a
maze of sea-green walls. An assortment of fish and marine life
glide around in tanks or stare unblinkingly at visitors through
the glass.

The Hall of Inshore Fisheries resembles a jetty. A stroll along
the dock reveals a trap skiff, a Tancook whaler, and familiar
Cape Islanders. The exhibit is complete with hanging nets, a
lobster trap kids can try hauling in, and a distinctive wharf

Upstairs, a Parks Canada exhibit, "The Age of Sail" houses a
life-size carving of the largest recorded cod. The exhibit shows
the history of the fisheries, starting in the 1500's, with
pictures and models. A topographical map of the geography of the
ocean floor shows what the Grand Banks really are, and how
currents mix to produce the beginning of the ocean's food chain.

Across the hall, fishermen lost in the August Gales of 1926 and
1927 are remembered. From Shelburne County, Liverpool and as far
away as Cheticamp and Newfoundland are photos and details of
fishermen who were lost in the gales.

Just as there is so much to see at the Fisheries Museum, there is
a lot to do, such as rowing a dory, helping launch a model
schooner, and finding out all one needs to know about whales,
cod, scallops, and inshore fishing. Visitors can handle all kinds
of specimens, such as real cod eggs or pieces of whale vertebrae.

The museum affords a great opportunity to explore an astounding
collection of Nova Scotia's fishing heritage.


Contact: Joan Waldron     902-424-7398

         Emma McKennirey  902-4242-6435

trp                    May 23, 1996 - 11:15 a.m.