New SHA Website

The Steveston Harbour Authority website has been updated and is now live! You’ll find that some of the content is the same, but the layout has changed quite a bit. We’ve also added quite a bit of multimedia to the site to make for a more immersive experience. The website is also far easier to update now, so our Sales Float page should be far more accurate from this point forward.

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DFO Habitat Restoration Project

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans is currently working on a habitat restoration project in Steveston Harbour near the Atagi bank. Here is a brief project description in the words of the project manager:

The Fraser River Estuary is the largest estuary on the Pacific Coast of North America, and an ecosystem of global significance. From brackish marshes to riverine channels, the estuary supports the stocks of the largest salmon-producing river on the west coast by providing critical juvenile rearing grounds and essential staging areas for returning adults. It also provides a crucial rest stop for migrating birds along the Pacific Flyway and is a major wintering area for the largest concentrations of waterfowl and raptors in Canada. Steveston Harbour occupies a unique niche in the estuary, straddling important wildlife habitat with a diverse metropolitan area. As the largest DFO commercial fishing harbour, Steveston is an important hub for many types of marine transportation, complete with amenities for recreational boaters to deep sea vessels.

As part of our Environmental Stewardship goals, and along with ongoing improvements to our facilities, we are participating in a number of habitat enhancement projects to help maintain a balance between the environment and operational development. At the Harbour’s main industrial site, Paramount, we are building a marshland. Phase one of this project is already complete: an anchored sheet pile wall has been installed to encompass about 3000 m2 of designated habitat (that’s 2/3 the size of a football field!). Phase two is scheduled for later this summer, when dredge material will be used to fill the area and planted with native vegetation. When complete, the marsh will not only provide essential food, refuge or nursery habitat for many fish and bird species, but also will serve to slow and absorb rainwater and protect water quality by filtering runoff, trapping sediments and metabolizing excess organic inputs.”

 

Steveston Harbour and the Global Ghost Gear Initiative

Steveston Harbour continues to be involved with the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI). In April, 2016, a joint operation of GGGI members set out to recover a lost purse seine net off the coast of Pender Island, British Columbia. This project was a joint effort between World Animal Protection (WAP), Northwest Straits Foundation (NWSF), Emerald Sea Protection Society (ESPS), Archipelago Marine Research, Rendezvous Dive Adventures and Steveston Harbour Authority (SHA) with additional support from Aquafil USA, Orca Spirit Adventures and Tsehum Harbour Authority.

The project took place over two days and during that time, divers from NWSF and ESPS brought up over 4,500 pounds of seine net that had been draped over a reef indiscriminately killing fish and crustaceans for over three decades. Once the net had been removed, it was taken to Steveston Harbour for assessment to see if it was possible to recycle it or whether it had to be taken to a landfill. A video of the project that World Animal Protection produced can be viewed below.

Unfortunately, soon after the net arrived at Steveston Harbour, it had a very strong unpleasant odour and began to attract rats, flies and birds in large numbers, so the majority of it had to be sent to a landfill before it could be assessed for recycling. However, Steveston Harbour did keep a portion of the net to see if it could be cleaned well enough to be recycled. After a bit of hard work from Steveston Harbour staff and members from the ESPS, it was found that the net could indeed be cleaned well enough to be recycled. This information will be very valuable for future ghost net recovery projects not just in British Columbia, but all over the world through the GGGI. A short SHA produced video of the cleaning process can be viewed below.