Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

September 18, 2013 10:14 ET

Government of Canada Opens First Small Craft Harbour in Nunavut

PANGNIRTUNG, NUNAVUT--(Marketwired - Sept. 18, 2013) - Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Gail Shea and Minister of the Environment Leona Aglukkaq officially opened the first small craft harbour in Nunavut today in a ceremony on Baffin Island.

"The new harbour in Pangnirtung will benefit the community immensely by supporting local fishers and providing a more efficient and safe marine supply option," said the Honourable Gail Shea. "Fishers in the area now have modern infrastructure to unlock the economic potential of the local inshore turbot fishery, summer commercial Arctic Char and other fisheries in Cumberland Sound."

"This initiative demonstrates the Government of Canada's commitment to developing Canada's northern communities through investment in infrastructure," said Minister Leona Aglukkaq. "The new harbour will foster growth of Nunavut's emerging fishing industry and provide a safe and effective harbour facility."

Major components of the project included constructing a fixed wharf, breakwater, marshalling area, sealift ramp and a dredged channel and basin. A local workforce was employed for certain parts of the work.

The harbour will help realize economic and employment opportunities for this community of 1,300, and its 250 local fish harvesters and their approximately 150 vessels, and provide the basis for viable and sustainable regional economic expansion in the fisheries. Construction of this $40.5 million harbour began in 2009. It was funded through Canada's Economic Action Plan, Budget 2008 and Fisheries and Oceans' Small Craft Harbours Program.

Established in June of this year, the Pangnirtung Harbour Authority will assume management of the new facility. Local harbour authorities manage and operate facilities for local users. Close cooperation between the Department and harbour authorities allows the federal government to continue to provide an operable system of harbours and facilities throughout Canada in support of the commercial fishing industry.

For broadcast:

Today, at Pangnirtung on Baffin Island, the Government of Canada officially opened its first small craft harbour in Nunavut. This $40.5 million project will enable the community to take advantage of the thriving Arctic inshore fishery. "The new harbour in Pangnirtung will benefit the community immensely by supporting local fishers and providing a more efficient and safe marine supply option," said the Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

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Backgrounder

Opening Of Pangnirtung Small Craft Harbour

In 2009, during his annual tour of the North, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced funding to build a small craft harbour in the Hamlet of Pangnirtung, Nunavut. The new harbour represents a $40.5 million investment by the Government of Canada in the Nunavut economy.

The Project

This major capital harbour project consists of several components including a fixed wharf, breakwater, marshaling area, sealift ramp, a dredged channel and basin, and floating wharves.

The new harbour infrastructure will foster the growth of a sustainable inshore commercial fishery while adding to the community's marine-based transportation links with other Nunavut communities. It will provide the community and multiple users with a safe and effective harbour as well as provide for more efficient loading and unloading of the sealift loads.

The increased access/participation by Nunavummiut in local fisheries will allow them to benefit from the Nunavut fishery and result in a significant increase in economic diversification in the Nunavut Territory.

A local Harbour Authority has been established to manage the harbour.

Project Objectives

The harbour infrastructure will support existing commercial fisheries, provide foundation for an expanded inshore fisheries, and serve broader community marine based interests, particularly the annual community sea-lift.

Pangnirtung Harbour will:

  • provide the community and multiple users with a safe and effective facility, augment local transportation capacity and provide for more efficient loading and unloading of the sealift loads;

  • support the federal government's Northern Strategy and assist in building on the Territory's natural resource base;

  • help realize economic and employment opportunities for this community of 1,300, and its 250 local fish harvesters and their approximately 150 vessels, with a basis for viable and sustainable regional economic expansion in the fisheries; and,

  • be managed by a local Harbour Authority that will assume direct responsibility for an asset serving the entire community.

Harbour Construction Work:

  • Engineering complexities included severe ice conditions, large tidal range, and limited northern contracting capacity. A phased contracting approach was required to accommodate the short construction season (June to October) and lead time required to mobilize equipment on-site which was complicated by the sea-lift schedule.

  • Regular consultations with the community were held before and during construction and construction contracts were designed to encourage local participation.

  • By October 2012, most of the construction work on the harbour was completed including: construction of the breakwater; dredging of the basin and channel; construction of the sealift ramp; construction of the marshaling area; and construction of the wharf.

  • In the summer of 2013, the marshaling area and minor components of the wharf were completed and the floating wharves were installed.

An Inuktitut version of this press release is available at the following address: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/0918INUKTITUT.pdf

Contact Information

  • Frank Stanek
    Media Relations
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    613-990-7537

    Sophie Doucet
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Minister
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada
    613-992-3474