Namely, although the majority of vessel owners are responsible and maintain and dispose their vessels properly, some seriously affect the coastal communities, with the burden for costly clean-up often falling on Canadian taxpayers.

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, stated that

Wrecked, abandoned and hazardous vessels can pose risks to the environment, clutter our shorelines, affect sensitive marine habitats and species, and disrupt community activities and local economies. Our new strengthened law ensures these problems are addressed quickly, before they become more serious.

Consequently, The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, and the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard announced the soon-to-be-launched Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels Act.

Accordingly, the Act forbids vessel abandonment and also adds into the Canadian law, the Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks, 2007.

Moreover, the Act:

  1. Increases owner responsibility and liability for their vessels;
  2. Addresses irresponsible vessel management;
  3. Enables the Government of Canada to proactively intervene to address problem vessels that pose hazards.

This significant legislation is making vessel owners responsible under the law for the safe disposal of their vessels. Most owners are responsible, but for those few who are not, we now have the ability to hold them to account.

... highlighted the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport.

The Government alerts that non-compliance with the Act may lead to a penalty up to $50,000 for individuals and up to $250,000 for companies or corporations. Meanwhile, convictions of more serious offences could result in a maximum fine of $1 million for individuals and up to $6 million for companies or corporations.

The $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan is the largest investment ever made to protect Canada’s coasts and waterways. It is creating a world-leading marine safety system that provides economic opportunities for Canadians, while protecting coastlines and clean water for generations to come.