Since project completion, the Wharf has seen an increase in tug boats fueling up, visits by Marine Link Tours and increased employment.
The Kelsey Bay Wharf is located in the picturesque community of Sayward. It is the main entry point to the area for marine travellers and it hosts the Ocean View Gift Shop and Gallery, which also offers tourism related services. The community has suffered from the resource downturn and is seeking to diversify its economy and attract high value employment to the region.
The Wharf provides the only drive-on facility accommodating larger vessels, and serves larger vessels and barges used in aquaculture, commercial fishing and crew changes for larger vessels. The facility’s infrastructure is no longer able to withstand increased semi-truck traffic. The relocation of Marine Harvest to the Sayward area has significantly increased traffic to the facility and the private sector company is a partner in the project, providing financial support for the needed improvements.
To reinforce the wharf infrastructure, equipment was brought in to remove and replace seven 60-foot fender piles, one bearing pile and three deck planks. Three loose breakwater piles were re-bolted, which saved replacing them.
Completed 2011, the Wharf upgrades have made Kelsey Bay the primary offloading site for Marine Harvest Canada’s aquaculture vessels with the capacity to load and unload large trucks and barges. This marine activity has created important new, high value employment for the Sayward area. The Wharf now attracts visits from Marine Link Tours, as well as providing a convenient location for tug boats to refuel. With the increase in use of the wharf, more employees have been hired, helping to sustain local families.