Dark Harbour, located on the west side of GRAND MANAN ISLAND, New Brunswick, is the only suitable haven for fishing craft along the island's western shore, which is dominated by high cliffs. It is relatively isolated from the communities on the more hospitable eastern side facing the Bay of Fundy. In the 1840s Dark Harbour's potential as a natural deep-water port was recognized by marine surveyors, along with its commercial viability as a fishing centre, but except for sporadic seasonal fishing stations, it drew little attention until the close of the 19th century.
A sizable smoked-fish operation was established on a natural break wall of Dark Harbour in the 1890s, and though lobster and herring fisheries have been an integral part of its history, the worldwide reputation of Dark Harbour rests on the presence along its rocky shoreline of dulse, a popular edible seaweed. Still relatively unpopulated, Dark Harbour offers a unique landscape and has become a popular draw to tourists because of its natural beauty.