Harbour authority is local: federal officer

  • Jun. 27, 2005 6:00 p.m.

The Vancouver office which administers small craft harbours received several phone calls from Masset earlier this month following an incident where water was cut off to one portion of the dock.
But Robin Richardson, program officer at DFO’s small craft harbours branch, said the local committees which run each harbour are entitled to take such action if there is a good reason.
“They were upset about the water,” he said about the sport fishermen who phoned his office. “We indicated to them, if water was being wasted I wouldn’t have a problem with that.”
Mr. Richardson also clarified that the small craft harbour in Masset, like others across BC, has a mandate to provide services to commercial fishermen, so their needs may take precedence over other harbour users.
However, each harbour authority (the group of residents appointed to run the harbour) can make its own decisions about who the primary users are and what kind of policies to put in place, he said.
“Locales vary, circumstances are different,” he said. “The harbour authority is a local thing, a community thing… They’re very much their own entity.”
Mr. Richardson said community volunteers are essential to the smooth running of any harbour, and more volunteers are always welcome.
“We’d like to see more involved from the community,” he said about the Masset situation. “It’s always difficult in remote locations.”