GOOSE COVE, NL – Work is underway to construct a launchway for small crafts at the wharf in Goose Cove.
With the increase in cod that fishermen are anticipating over the next few years, it’s going to be needed.
Preparation work for the launchway began near the wharf on Nov. 16. Workers on site were using a “template” to test the depth of the water. No concrete has been laid down yet.
The work will take place over the course of the winter and is expected to conclude sometime in January.
The project is funded by Small Craft Harbours under the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
Local Harbour Authority chair Max Sexton says it will give small vessel operators a place to launch and haul boats up with their trailers. Until now, without a launchway, this proved difficult.
Operators, like Sexton himself, haul their boats up at different places around the harbour.
“Places we got over there, you got to wait for high water before we can launch or pull up our boats,” Sexton told the Northern Pen. “But this here will be for any time at all.”
Getting this work done is especially important since fishermen from all over the Northern Peninsula are coming to Goose Cove to catch and sell their cod.
Sexton estimates about 30 boats were catching cod out of Goose Cove.
“(The launchway) is needed now because it seems like the cod fishery is coming on stream and a lot of bigger boats – 25 or 26 or 27-feet long – and there’s no way you can get them up other than that,” said Sexton.
The launchway will be available for public use.
Sexton says the Harbour Authority first applied for this funding about five years ago. He wasn’t sure what the exact funding total was.
The Northern Pen contacted Small Craft Harbours for a cost on the project but did not receive a response prior to Friday’s deadline.
Update: DFO subsequently informed the Northern Pen that a contract was awarded to Pittman's Enterprises Limited of St. Paul's, NL, in the amount of $458,278 for the construction of the launchway. They say the work is scheduled to be completed by January 12, 2018. Additional information on this publicly tendered contract is available on buyandsell.gc.ca