Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

October 20, 2007 09:00 ET

Minister Hearn Announces Plans to Improve Five Fishing Harbours in Cape Breton

CAPE BRETON, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwire - Oct. 20, 2007) - Fish harvesters in Cape Breton will have access to safer, more modern harbour facilities thanks to federal investments announced today by the Honourable Loyola Hearn, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

"Fish harvesters face enough peril out on the water," said Minister Hearn. "Our government wants to ensure that they are returning to safe harbours. Today's announcement will make a real difference to fish harvesters in Cape Breton."

A total of $1,373,000 will allow for work to take place at Inverness, Cheticamp, West Arichat, Little River (Victoria County) and Grand Etang. The attached backgrounder provides detailed descriptions of what work will be carried out.

These projects are implemented by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, as part of its Small Craft Harbours Program, in cooperation with the harbour authorities that manage and operate the facilities for local users. This close cooperation with clients allows the federal government to continue to provide an operable system of harbours and facilities throughout Canada in support of commercial fishers.


Projects at the following five fishing harbours in Cape Breton total $1.37 million:

The outer section of the timber pilework wharf at Inverness harbour has deteriorated and use of the wharf is restricted as a safety precaution. The project involves rebuilding 50 metres of the existing wharf structure and constructing a new 13-metre extension to provide needed additional berthage capacity. The project will be complete with placement of new concrete piles and deck, installation of new sheathing and a new electrical system.

At Cheticamp, ice and weather have caused structural damage to the floating breakwater which protects vessels in the harbour from damage by wave action. Repair work consists of re-welding or replacing existing cracked steel framing, as necessary. Additionally, installation of several new steel components will strengthen the overall structure. Work will be complete by the end of October.

Little River (Victoria County) is a busy and congested harbour. The overcrowded conditions mean that navigation in the harbour basin is difficult and working conditions are often unsafe. The project under way at this location consists of installing three additional floating docks to address safe berthage requirements.

Two abandoned and derelict vessels are the source of serious concern at West Arichat, both in terms of harbour operations and environmentally, as onboard contaminants may exist. The vessels were abandoned and have since sunk alongside the wharf. The project involves raising the sunken vessels, dewatering them in a controlled environment and undertaking a hazardous material assessment to determine the most environmentally responsible disposal method.

Grand Etang is the site of the second phase of a wharf reconstruction project started last year.

The fully completed work will provide fish harvesters with a much safer and more efficient harbour.

Contact Information

  • For Little River (Victoria County) and West Arichat:
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada
    Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
    Communications Branch
    For Inverness, Cheticamp and Grand Etang:
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada
    Moncton, New Brunswick
    Frederic Butruille
    Communications Manager, Corporate Services