Baccalieu Island

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Baccalieu Island
Iceberg offer Baccalieu Island.jpg
Baccalieu Island as seen from Avalon Peninsula
Baccalieu Island is located in Newfoundland and Labrador
Baccalieu Island
Baccalieu Island
Location of Baccalieu Island in Newfoundland
Coordinates48°07′49″N 52°48′05″W / 48.13028°N 52.80139°W / 48.13028; -52.80139Coordinates: 48°07′49″N 52°48′05″W / 48.13028°N 52.80139°W / 48.13028; -52.80139
Area5 km2 (1.9 sq mi)
Highest elevation137 m (449 ft)
Highest point 
ProvinceNewfoundland and Labrador

Baccalieu Island or Bacalhoo Island[1] (/ˌbækəˈl/)[1] is a 5 km2 uninhabited island at the northern extremities of Conception Bay in Subdivision 1G, near the community of Red Head Cove, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. It is separated from the island of Newfoundland by Baccalieu Tickle, a small strait and an abundant fishing ground. The island has some trees but mostly rocky.

The name Baccalieu is derived either from the Portuguese bacalhau, Spanish bacalao or the Basque baccalos, all meaning "codfish". Early Portuguese maps dating before Columbus' voyage indicate an island east of the Azores named Terra do Bacalhau which may have been the whole island of Newfoundland. Modern Baccalieu Island was known to Europeans by that name since at least 1556, when it was drawn on the Gastaldi map as "Bacalaos".[2]

Ecological Reserve[edit]

Baccalieu Island is the largest seabird island in Newfoundland and supports the greatest diversity of breeding seabirds in eastern North America. The island supports the largest known colony of Leach's storm-petrel in the world, approximately 40% of the global population and about 70% of the western Atlantic population of this species. It is a nesting area for 11 breeding species:

The island has a surface of 5 km2, and the reserve spans 23 km2, including all of the island and one kilometre of ocean around the coast.


Baccalieu Island Lighthouse
North Point
LocationBaccalieu Island
Avalon Peninsula
Newfoundland and Labrador
Coordinates48°08′59″N 52°47′54″W / 48.149849°N 52.798201°W / 48.149849; -52.798201
Year first constructed1859 (first)
Year first lit1990s (current)
Deactivated1990s (first)
Constructionbrick tower covered by iron plates since 1893 with balcony and lantern (first)
steel skeletal tower (current)
Tower shapecylindrical tower with balcony and lantern (first)
triangular tower (current)
Markings / patternrusty colour tower (first)
white tower (current)
Tower height11 metres (36 ft) (first)
13.5 metres (44 ft) (current)
Focal height166 metres (545 ft) (current)
Light sourcesolar power
Range7 nautical mile Edit this on Wikidata
CharacteristicFl W 6s.
Admiralty numberH0498
CHS numberCCG 472
NGA number1736
ARLHS numberCAN-647
Managing agentBaccalieu Island Ecological Reserve [3]

Historically, two lighthouses were operated on Baccalieu Island; today both are automated. The lighthouse on the northern end is not operational any more; its light was extinguished in the early 1990s. This lighthouse was replaced as an aid to navigation by an automated light on a skeletal tower. It was originally a brick tower and was later encased in iron. The two storey residence attached was removed after 1950. The old tower's data:

  • Tower height: 36 feet (11 m)
  • Height of focal plane: 443 feet (135 m)
  • Description: Red, conical cast iron
  • Date established: 1859
  • Date present tower built: 1858
  • Date deactivated: 1990s
  • Current use: Unknown
  • Open to public: No

Four generations of the Ryan family "kept the light" at Baccalieu from 1858 to 1950. Other keepers at Baccalieu included Felix Noonan, Eric Blundon, John Hyde, Linus Walsh, Joseph Hatch, Pat Rice, and principal lightkeeper Raymond Hyde.

Ghost Ship[edit]

In 1884 the merchant brig Resolven was founded abandoned in the waters off Baccalieu and Catalina, Newfoundland and Labrador.[4] The fate of the crew is unknown.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b The Canadian Press (2017), The Canadian Press Stylebook (18th ed.), Toronto: The Canadian Press
  2. ^ The Gastaldi map Archived 2005-03-16 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Rowlett, Russ. "Lighthouses of Southeast Newfoundland". The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
  4. ^

External links[edit]