Nanaimo’s Whaling: An inconvenient story

April 14th, 2017

In 1905 commercial whaling became a major industry in BC, with the development of the modern Harpoon and faster vessels. Page’s Lagoon Whaling Station began operations in 1907 its location was chosen to catch the humpback whales that wintered in the Salish Sea. The Pacific Whaling Company would process between three to five whales a day during whaling season. The plant at Page’s Lagoon (now known as Piper’s Lagoon) was short lived and ceased operation in 1908 after the population of 95 humpbacks was decimated. The whale catcher the St. Lawrence, which was brought over from eastern Canada, was then diverted to Sechart Station (Barkley Sound). In 1912 the whaling station at Page’s Lagoon was sold and today on the shores of Pipers Lagoon no evidence remains, and in the past few years humpbacks have become a regular visitor to our waters once again (from the Nanaimo Archives).

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