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Fort Amherst Small Boat Basin closed to recreational us

June 30, 2017

Sent on behalf of the Fort Amherst Harbour Authority

The President of the Fort Amherst Harbour Authority wishes to advise the public that the Fort Amherst Small Boat Basin will be closed to all recreational boats as of tomorrow, July 1, 2017.

The Fort Amherst Small Boat Basin is the only small-boat launch with a slipway in St. John’s. Due to significant commercial fishing volume and a decade long delay in an approved extension, the Basin will only be open to commercial fishing activity.

Since 2006, an approved extension has been mired in bureaucratic delay that has prevented work on the extension from starting.

The congestion of vessels in the harbour is not only a significant inconvenience to fish harvesters and other vessel operators, it is also a safety concern and fire hazard. With the recreational fishery set to open July 1, the basin does not have the capacity to allow use by recreational boats.

Glen Winslow, President of the Fort Amherst Harbour Authority says, “Our harbour has been in desperate need of an extension for years. At this point, calling it ‘long overdue’ is an understatement and it’s time for the government to act on their promises.”

Meetings took place this spring with area MP Seamus O’Regan, who was very supportive of getting things in motion for the much needed extension. However, a longstanding conflict over land ownership between the Port Authority and Small Crafts Harbours federal departments has prevented the extension from happening.

“Waiting over 10 years for an approved extension to get underway is an unacceptable length of time. The federal departments need to resolve their issues in order to make the St. John’s harbour functional again,” says Winslow.

Glen Winslow
President, Fort Amherst Harbour Authority
For inquiries or questions, please contact Mr. Winslow at 709-687-8266