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Harbour authorities


Numerous coastal communities in our maritime sectors depend on and live for the fisheries. Most of these communities have commercial fishing harbours that are owned by Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Over 90 percent of the fish and seafood caught commercially in salt water in Québec are landed at these harbours, which are managed by local harbour authorities (HA) under the terms of lease agreements contracted for this purpose with the Department.

Harbour authorities play an essential role in the economic and social lives of numerous communities that depend on local harbour facilities. They also play a key role in calling attention to the needs of users within the community and speaking on their behalf to the various relevant stakeholders.

Harbour authorities are responsible for the daily management of harbours and earn income by operating them. This income serves not only to cover a harbour’s management costs but also its operating costs and minor maintenance.

The authorities who manage Fisheries and Oceans Canada harbours are not-for-profit corporations governed by volunteer administrators who, in most cases, also use the harbour facilities. Their involvement means that harbour management is as decentralized as possible which brings decision making as close as possible to the communities where the harbours are located. The volunteer administrators can thus make a difference and contribute to a major local economic mechanism.

In Quebec, 43 harbour authorities manage 50 fishing harbours located on the Gaspé Peninsula, the North Shore and the Magdalen Islands. These corporations operate with the support of 300 volunteers who give their time for their communities.

Luc Boucher
Magdalen Islands Area
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