Fishing boats at Shippagan


Shippagan, a town located at the extreme northeastern point of mainland New Brunswick, was incorporated in 1958. Its name originated from the Mi’kmaq word sepaguncheech, which means “duck way,” referring to the passage between the mainland and Île Lamèque.

The area has a rich history, with a Jesuit mission operating there from 1634 to 1662 and Nicolas DENYS establishing a trading post in 1645. The first permanent settlers arrived in about 1790, including Norman-French from the Gaspé Peninsula and Acadians. English settlers also arrived in the early 19th century as merchants and lumbermen from England and northern New Brunswick. Fishing and farming were the primary activities.

Shippagan Harbour Wharf
Shippagan Harbour Wharf. Photo by

Today, after more than two centuries, fishing and fish processing remain the main industries in Shippagan, although peat bogs have been profitably exploited since World War II. 

St. John's United Church, Shippagan
St. John’s United Church, Shippagan built in 1842

Shippagan is also home to a campus of l’Université de Moncton, a provincial Aquarium and Marine Centre, and a pleasure boat marina. 

University of Moncton Shippagan Campus
University of Moncton Shippagan Campus

Annually, the town hosts the Festival des pêches et de l’aquaculture, and a youth classical music and performing arts camp is held there each summer. Additionally, since 1976, the nearby town of Lamèque has sponsored the International Baroque Music Festival.

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