Proactive vessel management

The Proactive Vessel Management initiative is another action the Government of Canada is taking to protect the country’s coasts and waterways through our Oceans Protection Plan.

On this page

About proactive vessel management

Proactive vessel management is a new approach to managing vessel traffic issues in Canada’s waterways. It will:

  • improve marine safety and environmental protection
  • strengthen our collaboration with Indigenous and coastal communities, the marine industry and other stakeholders

Proactive Vessel Management, an initiative of the Oceans Protection Plan, aims to reduce conflicts between local waterway users and protect environmentally and culturally sensitive areas. It will do this through:

  • improved communications on the water
  • controls on speed and routing
  • creation of local areas to avoid
  • possible use of more marine pilots or tugs

We are developing a national framework to guide how proactive vessel management is implemented in our local waterways. To achieve this, we will:

  • Seek input from a range of participants, including:
    • Indigenous partners
    • coastal communities
    • industry members and commercial vessel operators
    • provincial, territorial and municipal governments
    • non-governmental organizations
  • Conduct pilot projects with local communities in British Columbia and the Arctic

Pilot projects

Two pilot projects will research, develop, test and evaluate concepts and practices for vessel traffic management issues.

We will carry out these projects in partnership with Indigenous and coastal communities in the Arctic and British Columbia. The pilot projects will run for one year, from fall 2018 until fall 2019.

Arctic pilot project

Transport Canada, the Canadian Coast Guard, the Government of Nunavut, Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated and the Nunavut Marine Council worked together to select Cambridge Bay as host location for the pilot project in the Arctic.

We will work with partners in this community to test and evaluate practices in the draft proactive vessel management framework. Together we will address vessel traffic issues in the local waterway.

British Columbia pilot project

In B.C., we will work with north and central coast First Nations. We’ll do this work under provisions of the Reconciliation Framework Agreement for collaboration on shipping, marine safety and oceans protection.

The B.C. pilot project is being co-developed with these nations. It will build on a number of marine spatial planning initiatives underway in the Northern Shelf Bioregion of B.C. Initial work will identify and prioritize issues and conflicts. We will then develop and evaluate options to address these issues.

Seeking Canadians’ input

We’re asking Canadians to help us develop the national framework that allows for managing local traffic issues in a way that meets community and user needs.

This is why we’ve been speaking with Canadians to better understand local interests, concerns and potential solutions. Engagement with Indigenous partners, coastal communities and stakeholders began in fall 2017 and will be ongoing through 2019.

Learn about dates, locations and participant funding opportunities for future engagement sessions.

More funding will be available for partners and stakeholders after we launch the system.