Dredging operations will be completed in time for the setting of the lobster traps, and the last harbour, Grosse-Ile, has been cleared on Wednesday, confirms Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
The Quebec Director of the Small Craft Harbours Program, Boussaad Akrour, explains that the weather has been rather mild, but that the increase in the volume of sand accumulated in the harbours makes operations more complex each year.
According to the department’s estimates, 45,000 m3 had to be removed this spring compared to 25,000 m3 just two years ago.
The lack of ice cover and the frequency of storms are among the factors that DFO believes may account for the increased volumes.
While the issue is experienced by coastal communities across the country, the situation varies from port to port due to the location and orientation of harbours and current dynamics.
Entry Island, Grande-Entrée, Millerand and Grosse-Ile all experienced significant increases in volume compared to last year, ranging from 25 to 30%.
Mr. Akrour indicates that an initial study is underway on the Grande-Entrée side in order to better understand the sedimentary dynamics and eventually develop long-term solutions.
DFO mentions that they will be doing a second phase of dredging in some harbours later in the season in order to clear the interior.