Marine Communications and Traffic
In Quebec, Marine Communications and Traffic Services (MCTS) provides services to the maritime community with three communications centers located in Québec, Les Escoumins and Rivière-au-Renard.
Located in the Port of Québec, this Centre serves the navigable waters of the St. Lawrence between Blanche Island and the St. Lawrence Seaway. It also serves a large clientele of recreational boaters plying the waters of the Ottawa River, Rivière des Prairies, Rivière des Mille-Îles, Richelieu River, Saint-Louis Lake, Saint-François Lake, Lac des Deux-Montagnes and the St. Lawrence River.
Radio coverage is provided by ten VHF sites.
Three radar sites located at the port of Québec, on Charron Island and under the Jacques-Cartier Bridge enable staff at the Québec MCTS Centre to track vessel movements.
The Centre is also responsible for applying the under-keel clearance standards in the Île d’Orléans Traverse du Nord sector and upstream from the Port of Québec, up to Montréal. By establishing appropriate times for passage (passage windows), deep-draft vessels can transit safely with the tides.
The Québec MCTS Centre operates the Regional Alert and Warning Network covering Quebec. This Network is a communication system designed to allow Quebec's marine stakeholders to respond in a rapid, efficient and collaborative manner in the event of marine emergencies: federal and provincial governments and agencies, municipalities, rescue organizations, maritime industry, etc.
Toll free: 1-800-363-4735
This MCTS Centre is located on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River at Les Escoumins, about 15 miles east of the mouth of the Saguenay River. It serves the navigable waters of the St. Lawrence River, from the western tip of Anticosti Island to Blanche Island, and the Saguenay Fjord, downstream from the Port of Saguenay. The Centre has a VHF radio network encompassing eight sites and a radar surveillance station at Anse aux Basques.
The Centre is also tasked with regulating vessel traffic movement in the boarding and disembarking areas used by the pilots of Les Escoumins.
East of Les Escoumins, vessels are required to use a Traffic Separation Scheme during the ice-free navigation period. In winter, the Centre ensures ships follow the recommended ice routes.
The Rivière-au-Renard MCTS Centre is located on the Gaspe Peninsula, at the entrance to the St. Lawrence estuary, opposite Honguedo Strait. It serves the Gulf of St. Lawrence, from the western tip of Anticosti Island to Chaleur Bay, including the Magdalen Islands and the North Shore (from Havre-Saint-Pierre to Blanc-Sablon). Radio coverage is provided by 10 VHF sites and 3 MF sites.
During the ice navigation period, the Centre ensures that transiting ships receive and follow the recommended ice routes during their passage.
For more information on Marine Communications and Traffic Services, visit the Canadian Coast Guard national website.