Port Armstrong, Baranof Island

Port Armstrong, Baranof Island

by | Jun 10, 2020

Port Armstrong is an estuary about 1 mile (1.6 km) long on the southeast coast of Baranof Island, 59 miles (95 km) south-southeast of Sitka and 4 miles (6.5 km) north of Port Alexander, Alaska. The bay was named by Captain George Vancouver of the Royal Navy, during his stay in Port Conclusion between August 1 and August 22, 1794.

The U.S. Whaling Company operated here from 1912 to 1923. The company killed 314 whales in its first season of operation. Modern harpoon guns were partly responsible for the high volume. These guns replaced traditional hand-thrown harpoons and could shoot a bomb-tipped harpoon 120 feet (36 m). When a harpoon struck, the bomb would explode inside the whale.

Only one third as many whales were caught in 1913 and catches remained low in the following years. In 1923, the company moved to New Zealand and Port Armstrong is now the site of the Armstrong-Keta salmon hatchery. See a short video about shore whaling in the early 1900s here. Read more here and here. Explore more of Port Armstrong here:

About the background graphic

This ‘warming stripe’ graphic is a visual representation of the change in global temperature from 1850 (top) to 2021 (bottom). Each stripe represents the average global temperature for one year. The average temperature from 1971-2000 is set as the boundary between blue and red. The color scale goes from -0.7°C to +0.7°C. The data are from the UK Met Office HadCRUT4.6 dataset. 

Credit: Professor Ed Hawkins (University of Reading). Click here for more information about the #warmingstripes.

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