Ottawa bans fishing in Placentia Bay

On today’s date in 1969, the Government of Canada banned fishing in Placentia Bay, Nfld. because of pollution.

According the Cynthia Lamson’s The Sea Has Many Voices, the public had long pressured government authorities to reduce the unacceptable levels of phosphorus pollution in Placentia Bay and Long Harbour. The Newfoundland Fisherman’s Federation saw the crisis as an economic one primarily, and the federations represented the interests of the fishermen.

When dead fish first appeared in the bay and along the coast – perhaps before the magnitude of the crisis was known or not – the federation chose to keep quiet for fear it might negatively effect the fishermen outside Placentia Bay. However, because of its severe nature, the story received extensive media coverage and the fishermen used it to pressure politicians. Eventually, the pollution spread along the province’s coast.

In 2011, Canada Post issued a stamp featuring the Glover’s Harbour Giant Squid – a giant squid that washed ashore along the rugged Atlantic Ocean in 1878. The P-marked Permanent-rate stamp (CSN # 2484) was printed by the Lowe-Martin Group on Tullis Russell Coatings coated paper using general tagging on each side.

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