Breakwater Wharf Encasement Hant’s Harbour, Newfoundland


  • Jamie Arthur Downey Memorial University


Coastal Engineering 8751 Case Study Civil Hant's Harbour Breakwater


Hant’s Harbour, a small fishing community located on the southeast side of Trinity Bay on the Bay de Verde Peninsula, was settled by four English families in the 16th century to harvest the abundant codfish on the nearby rich fishing grounds. During the 17th and 18th centuries, because of the abundance of codfish, Hant’s Harbour’s population continued to grow as other English settlers and families sailed across the Atlantic and established their fishing plantations around the sheltered shoreline of the harbour. In 1929, the Janes family, a well-known family in the community, established the first commercial small fish processing operation on the northeast side of the harbour, near the entrance and partially sheltered from the strong northerly and north easterly winds that blew directly into the harbour. As fishing activities expanded and a variety of species were being harvested, a larger processing facility and harbour structure was needed to accommodate larger fishing vessels and additional fishing enterprises. As a result, more protection and a larger sheltered berthage area became necessary and thus the need to construct a breakwater structure near the entrance to the harbour to protect the fishing boats and those involved in the fishing industry. As the fishing industry continued to expand and the protection of the harbour improved, flotillas of tourists and fishermen traveling within the Trinity Bay area also began using the port for overnight accommodations and as a safe haven during stormy and inclement weather. In the late 1990’s and early 2000, the first breakwater structure was built near the entrance to the harbour. However, due to destructive wave action caused by large storms, the breakwater soon needed repairs and upgrades. In 2008, with funding assistance from Federal Fisheries and Oceans Canada, a Small Craft Harbour Funding Project was approved and work began on the upgrade of the breakwater and repairs to the existing infrastructure around the wharf to increase the protected berthage and to meet the operational requirements of the facility users. After Hurricane Igor swept across the eastern portion of the province in September 2010, leaving a trail of disaster and destruction, additional repairs and upgrades were needed to the breakwater. This repair, upgrade and expansion project also involved the construction of a floating wharf and a marginal wharf along the leeward side of the breakwater. The following paper will focus on the need to enlarge the breakwater and boat basin in order to protect the fishing facilities and fishing vessels, a brief description of the project that was funded through the Federal Government, the economic benefits associated with having a sheltered harbour in a rural community, and the work that was required after the damages caused by Hurricane Igor in September 2010.


Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, “Hants Harbour - Harbour Development”, 2008

Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, “Hants Harbour, Trinity Bay, Newfoundland - Breakwater Wharf Encasement”, 2011

Fisheries and Oceans Canada, “Senator Manning Announces Investment in Fishing Harbours Across Newfoundland and Labrador”, 2010

Piercey, Jeff: Fins ‘n Skins Captain (personal communication, March 2013)

Tuck, Larry: Hant’s Harbour Resident (personal communication, March 2013)






Coastal and Ocean Engineering (ENGI.8751)