In cooperation with the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority and others, the Interim Protocol will address immediate concerns regarding excessive use of anchorages near coastal communities.
The protocol includes temporary measures, such as ensuring the equitable distribution of anchorages among the Southern Gulf Islands, implementing noise and lighting restrictions for anchored vessels, monitoring, and a monthly review of the South Coast anchorages, including overflights of the area by the National Aerial Surveillance Program.
Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, said:
Our West Coast ports are busy and anchorages are essential to efficient shipping and navigation in these waters. Our government has heard local public concerns about noise, marine congestion, and the environmental impact of anchorages. We are taking action. Through this Interim Protocol and the Oceans Protection Plan, we are working with Indigenous peoples, coastal communities, stakeholders, and the marine industry to improve how anchorages are selected on the south coast of British Columbia, and across Canada.
The protocol was implemented on 8 February, for an initial trial period of six months and is expected to provide important lessons learned that will inform the development of the Government of Canada’s national Anchorages strategy, under the Oceans Protection Plan.
Pam Goldsmith-Jones MP, West Vancouver - Sunshine Coast - Sea to Sky Country stated:
The use of anchorages has a daily impact on Indigenous and coastal communities on the south coast of BC. I am pleased that the government is implementing guidelines and collecting data in the south coast of BC to start addressing these concerns, which include the impact of noise and light. Our experience with this Interim Protocol and the data we collect will help us to shape a new national anchorages framework under the Oceans Protection Plan.
The Oceans Protection Plan is the largest investment ever made to protect Canada’s coasts and waterways, creating a world-leading marine safety system that provides economic opportunities for Canadians today, while protecting Canadian coasts and waterways. This work is being done in close collaboration with Indigenous peoples, local stakeholders and coastal communities.
Under the plan , Canada has implemented several measures in recent months, including the proposed Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels Act, the 'Proactive Vessel Management' initiative aiming to address local marine traffic issues, the plan for bulk oil removal from the wreck of the Manolis L., the assessing of environmental effects of shipping, and others.