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Quebec Bulletin
December 2016-January 2017/Volume 19/Number 6

Dispatches

Fisheries and Oceans Canada Present at the AMIK Conference

Denis Gros-Louis
Denis Gros-Louis during his presentation at the AMIK conference

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) recently participated in the 2016 conference of the Agence Mamu Innu Kaikusseht (AMIK), an Aboriginal not-for-profit organization involved in fisheries and environmental conservation. The event was held on November 30 at the Uashat Shaputuan Museum (Sept-Îles), under the theme Aboriginal Fisheries in Quebec: Assessment and Issues—Governance, Conservation and Development.

Two DFO representatives spoke at the event. Denis Gros-Louis, Director, Resource Management and Aboriginal Affairs, spoke of Aboriginal successes in fisheries management in Quebec. As for the presentation by Suzanne Mark, Coordinator, Integrated Oceans Management, the theme was Marine Conservation Goals—Projects for the Estuary and the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Aboriginal Engagement.

The Canadian Coast Guard Increases the Stability of the Kathryn Spirit

Le navire Kathryn Spirit
The Kathryn Spirit

The Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) announced the first step in a process to permanently remove the Kathryn Spirit, moored on the shores of Beauharnois since 2011 after being abandoned by its owner.

A protective cofferdam is being constructed around the ship to further stabilize it and isolate it from the marine environment. The work, carried out by a private contractor, started in December and will be completed this winter.

This new step will facilitate the future dismantling of the ship, while eliminating the risk of damage to its structural integrity due to ice movements and runoff.

This work is one of the many steps the Canadian Coast Guard has taken to stabilize the ship, including installing barges and stabilization cables. Plans and funding for the next steps, which will lead to the complete removal of the ship, are nearing completion and further action should begin in the spring of 2017.

On November 7, 2016, the Government of Canada announced the Oceans Protection Plan, which includes a comprehensive strategy to address the situation of abandoned, neglected and wrecked ships in Canadian waters. In the future, this will reduce the occurrence of situations like that of the Kathryn Spirit.

Cofferdam: temporary dike or barrier, established in an aquatic site, intended to create a dry area around a building to be repaired or a site on which a structure is to be built.

Winter Closure of Seasonal Search and Rescue Bases

Canadian Coast Guard search and rescue ship under the snow
DFO  S. De Broucker

On December 1, 2016, the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) completed the annual closure of its seasonal search and rescue bases in Québec, Tadoussac, Kegaska, Rivière-au-Renard and Havre-Saint-Pierre. The Cap-aux-Meules base will close on December 30.

When winter arrives, CCG rescue ships can no longer be used in the navigational conditions prevailing in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the St. Lawrence River, such as the presence of freezing spray and ice. To assist mariners in distress during this period, CCG primarily uses its icebreakers and, if necessary, any other vessel of opportunity, as well as National Defence aircraft. The activities of the seasonal Coast Guard bases will begin again with the melting of the ice in April, before the peak navigation season.

These bases are strategically located so that mariners can be rescued as quickly as possible, minimizing loss of life and risk of injury. This also reduces the number and severity of maritime incidents and risks to the environment.

If search and rescue assistance is required, you may contact the CCG at any time by calling 1-800-463-4393 or by using VHF radio channel 16.