Upper Island Cove wharf slated for removal
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has identified a crumbling wharf in Spoon Cove, Upper Island Cove as a danger to the public and plan to remove the structure in the coming months.
“It’s in rough shape,” said Dawn Boutilier, a property officer with DFO’s Small Craft Harbours division.
She called the wharf a public safety risk and said removing it is the most obvious option.
But it won’t happen without some extensive dialogue with local residents. DFO is in the process of sending letters to roughly 700 homeowners in the community, explaining the reason behind the proposed demolition and providing an opportunity to residents to comment.
Local political leaders have also been notified.
“ The people in these communities have a lot of knowledge and information about these facilities and a big attachment to them, so we want to hear from them,” Boutilier said.
Residents will have three weeks to a month to submit their comments, she added.
The Spoon Cove wharf is one of four in the province slated for removal. The others are in Burnt Cove, Witless Bay, and in Plum Point and Pond Cove on the Northern Peninsula.
DFO looks after wharf facilities in roughly 370 harbours in the province, and keep a watchful eye out for those that have outlived their usefulness.
The wharf in Spoon Cove was built in 1964. The concrete slab that rests atop the cribbing has cracked and sagged over the years. The nearby slipway, which is also slated for removal, was put in place in 1978.
There are no records of any commercial fishing activity at the wharf, Boutilier stated, and it’s never been managed by a harbour authority.
She added that alternative harbours are available close by in Upper Island Cove, Port de Grave and Carbonear.
“If anyone is using it, we want to hear from them to make other arrangements for them,” she said. “It’s obviously a very dangerous place.” Boutilier said DFO has invested “ big money” in some of the nearby ports.
“Our core work at small craft harbours is to support the commercial fishing industry,” she said. “ This one in Spoon Cove has seen the end of its life and is beyond repair.”