Fogo Island, Nfld, 254 km2, 15 km off Newfoundland's north-east coast, was named y do fogo, "fire island", by the Portuguese. The irregularly shaped island, heavily forested in the south, lies on shallow Fogo Shelf, which attracts salmon, cod and other species. The salmon and cod fisheries are both closed due to moratoriums on these species; however, a lucrative crab fishery is in progress. Until the late 1700s Fogo was a summer home of the BEOTHUK. European fishermen visited its waters from the early 1500s and summer residences began at Fogo Harbour (now Fogo), an outpost of Devon and Dorset businesses, in the 1680s, with permanent settlement beginning in 1728. The island, connected by ferry with Farewell, now supports 11 communities though it once had 26.
In the 1960s attempts to resettle Fogo Island were countered by a movement toward rural development aided by the National Film Board of Canada, whose short documentaries helped to unite residents, crossing traditional social, cultural and religious lines. The "Fogo Process," the interactive use of film and videotape to foster community awareness and identity, is now used for the same purpose in underdeveloped countries. In Fogo, resettlement was abandoned, a fishermen's cooperative was founded, educational facilities were integrated, and a near-shore, long-liner fishery was developed.
From the early 1990s with the downturn in the fishery, Fogo Island has, and is continuing, to promote its tourist attractions such as museums, hiking trails to abandoned settlements, icebergs, whales and the outport way of life. Brimstone Head, a prominent landmark in the town of Fogo, has been proclaimed by the Flat Earth Society as one of the 4 corners of the Earth.