In 1989, the Small Craft Harbours Program (SCHP) of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) implemented an important element of its strategy by establishing the Harbour Authority Program (HA). This program involves a partnership between the public and private sectors that allows the fishing community to fully participate in the decision-making process in order to manage ports effectively and independently.
The Shippagan Port Authority was created and incorporated in March of 1994. Jointly with Fisheries and Oceans’ Small Craft Harbours Program, the Shippagan wharf is managed by a board of directors representing commercial fishers, fish purchasers and community representatives.
The port authority has been highly effective in managing the daily operations of the port, including minor repairs and infrastructure improvements. In addition to financing from DFO, the PA has contributed to repairs through employment programs, in-kind services and financial contributions.
The port authority has a duty to manage and safeguard all assets located on DFO property for the benefit of users. The PA offers fishers and users a range of services, and is endeavouring to achieve full autonomy.
1-INFORMATION AND OPPORTUNITIES
· Establish more effective management in order to better position the authority in relation to the industry.
· Develop a plan to ensure the viability of the port facilities and activities for the benefit of the commercial fishing industry, the aquaculture industry, the tourism and recreation industry, and to meet the needs of the community as a whole.
· Improve the services offered and offer new services in order to respond to the needs of the various industries that use Shippagan’s port facilities.
· Efficiently operate and manage the port’s daily operations and upkeep.
B. History of the port authority
Incorporated in March 1994, the Shippagan Port Authority is a non-profit organization that offers its services on a voluntary basis on behalf of its members and the fishing industry in general.
In 1989, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans established a program through which it delegated management of small craft harbours to local authorities. To do so, it concluded contractual agreements to lease the facilities to local authorities, which then became responsible for managing the port facilities. This engendered a feeling of ownership of the port and greater community involvement. Prior to that, decisions regarding port facilities were made by officials from Fisheries and Oceans, and local communities had very little say in the management of ports.
Pursuant to these initiatives, port authorities were created, including that of Shippagan.
In the fall of 1993, meetings took place in Shippagan, N.B. with the representative of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to discuss the possibility of establishing a port authority for the Shippagan wharf. Local fishers, fish purchasers and interested members of the community decided to establish the Shippagan Port Authority in order to administer and manage the daily operations of the Port of Shippagan. A board of directors was created, and the Shippagan Port Authority began operations prior to the opening of the 1994 fishing season.
C. Activities of the port authority
The Shippagan Port Authority provides services to the commercial fishing industry, fish purchasers and processors, the tourism industry and neighbouring communities. Recognized principally as a crab fishing port, it is also a very important fishing port during the herring season.
As such, the Shippagan Port Authority serves as home port for 113 traditional and native commercial fishing boats during the crab and lobster fishing season and approximately 50 commercial fishing boats during the herring season, as well as a number of pleasure craft during the summer. In addition, the port authority offers 29 sites for landing crab during the season, 2 sites for landing mackerel during the months of July to September, and 4 landing sites during the herring season.
D. Legal status
The Shippagan Port Authority is incorporated under federal law as a non-profit organization, with headquarters located in Shippagan. It leases the port facilities from Her Majesty the Queen through a lease contract that was renewed on January 1, 2007 for use of the property for the purposes of operating, maintaining and managing the public commercial fishing port.
E. Members of the port authority’s board of directors
The port authority’s board of directors is principally composed of volunteers from the immediate vicinity of Shippagan.
The board of directors has 10 members, including directors, the Chair, the Vice-chair, and a Secretary-Treasurer. In accordance with the corporation’s by-laws, the board is principally composed of volunteers who are fishers and members of the community.
A. The industry
The commercial fishery has long been a major economic activity in Atlantic Canada.
In the early 90s, the decline of the ground fish industry had an impact on the use of seaports. Prior to that, the ports were used over longer periods, from early spring to late fall. Now, there is intensive use concentrated over a short period. Sharing of the same resources by groups of fishers, including crab harvesters, necessitates adjustments to the port facilities.
Fishing at the Shippagan port is mainly conducted by mid-shore fishers. The fishers at this port principally harvest crab and lobster, although other species are also fished. Landing values were $1.85 million in 1999 and $2.85 million in 2000, for landing volumes of 2 690 t in 1999 and 4 405 t in 2000. For the year 2000, the Port of Shippagan’s share in the landing value and volumes for eastern New Brunswick was 2.28% and 6.67%. Landing statistics in 2005 were 11 132 metric tons, for a value of $41.705 million.
B. Reconstruction of wharf # 408-409 and 410.
Following a study conducted by engineering and construction firm C.Y. Boucher Ingénierie & Const. ltée in the fall of 2003, it was recommended that traffic be reduced because the structure was dangerous. In the spring of 2004, following a resolution of the Board of Directors of the Shippagan Port Authority, the decision was made to close this section of the wharf to vehicles.
Copyright © Ville de Shippagan 2014