Decrepit dock a danger: Pinware wants to save its wharf

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Decrepit dock a danger: Pinware wants to save its wharf

A community in southern Labrador is looking to save its crumbling wharf by folding it into the purview of a neighbouring harbour authority.

"The town can't definitely support the wharf … We don't have the tax base," said Didier Naulleau, mayor of Pinware, population 88.

The dock in Pinware was supposed to be demolished long ago.

When the cod moratorium was imposed in 1992, the community lost its fish plant and the wharf was dropped from federal care.

Naulleau hopes the harbour authority of Forteau, which manages wharves in Red Bay and Forteau on either side of Pinware, will take on his community's dock.

"There is no way that the wharf can get government help if we don't belong to a harbour authority."

Safety concern

People are using Pinware's wharf despite a sign advising against doing so, according to Naulleau.

"The top concrete has cracked in several places," the mayor said, adding the most dangerous part was taken down some time ago but what's left isn't in great shape.

"The end of the wharf is dipping into the sea."

It's mainly local recreational fishers and residents with motorboats using the dilapidated dock but Naulleau said from time to time other sailors make their way into port.

"Every time a longliner comes in, the mooring points are pretty well coming off the wharf," he said.

Tourism potential

Naulleau says the wharf could be an added attraction to southern Labrador's tourism industry.

"We already see quite a bit of tourism coming down here," he said. 

"It is not far-fetched to see that boat tours — small boat tours — could come in and tie down here and visit the town of Pinware then head around to Red Bay from Forteau."

The mayor wouldn't ballpark the cost of repairs but said his ideas for restoration include removing a section of the wharf, doing some dredging and creating floating elements.

"We'd have to probably ask for funding to create a breakwater," he said when asked what would happen if money for repairs didn't come in and the dock was demolished.

"We'd still need something to protect the small crafts … Almost everybody here has a boat of sorts."