A new small craft harbour officially opens at the Hollow Water First Nation in Manitoba

by ahnationtalk on September 22, 202327 Views

From: Fisheries and Oceans Canada

September 22, 2023

Winnipeg, Manitoba – Coastal communities across Canada – including inland Canada – are supported by small craft harbours that make fishing safer and more effective.

On September 21, Hollow Water First Nation members celebrated the official opening of a new and much needed small craft harbour for their community on eastern Lake Winnipeg. Chief Larry Barker spoke of the importance of this new infrastructure, which improves access to the community’s fish processing plant and provides safer docking for vessels. The harbour has been operational since May 2023, and is the newest harbour in service in the Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) national system of small craft harbours.

The Hollow Water small craft harbour features a crib wharf, two floating docks with gangways, and a pre-cast concrete launch ramp. Following a competitive process under the Government of Canada’s Procurement Strategy for Indigenous Business, Zhemaak Inc. of Berens River, Manitoba, was the successful bidder on this $1.3 million project. The new harbour in Hollow Water represents DFO’s commitment to reconciliation and support of the Indigenous commercial fishing industry.

Five volunteers have been elected by the commercial fishing community to manage the day-to-day operations of this harbour. The volunteers will serve as board members of the Hollow Water Harbour Authority and will be integral to the success of the harbour.


“Canada is working shoulder to shoulder with First Nation communities to invest in building and upgrading infrastructure crucial to the well-being of residents on reserves. Fish harvesting is a central part of life in many Indigenous communities, which is why I am so pleased to see this new small craft harbour officially opened at the Hollow Water First Nation. This important, much needed infrastructure will provide a safe and secure place for fishing boats and improved offloading of fish to the local fish plant. Congratulations and best wishes to the community, and in particular the newest harbour authority in Canada, at the Hollow Water First Nation.”

The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

“The Hollow Water Small Craft Harbour provides infrastructure for commercial fishers and provides recreational use for the community. The new harbour provides future economical development, it’s unlimited what we can do with the infrastructure. It offers a safe harbour for the community and for lake users.”

Wesley Moneas, President, Hollow Water Harbour Authority

Quick facts

  • DFO owns 973 small craft harbours across Canada with more than 5,000 volunteers serving on Harbour Authorities.
  • Harbour authorities are incorporated, not-for-profit organizations with boards of directors and members who represent their communities’ best local interests. Each harbour authority is a unique and independent legal identity and is responsible for managing, operating and maintaining one or more public fishing harbours through a lease agreement with the Small Craft Harbours program.
  • The Harbour Authorities program was created in1988 and has continued to grow. Harbour authorities currently operate and manage approximately 700 small craft harbours across Canada. About 5,000 people generously dedicate their time to these harbour authorities, helping keep the harbours that are critical to the fishing industry open and in good repair. Their efforts average 200,000 hours per year, which exceeds 100 full-time positions. Each year, harbour authorities generate approximately $30 million in revenue, which is reinvested in the harbours or the communities.
  • The continued success of the program is largely thanks to the dedication and participation of these volunteers.

Associated links


Jérémy Collard
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Ontario and Prairie Region


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