Monthly report 3: Interim Protocol for the Use of Southern B.C. Anchorages

The Interim Protocol for the Use of Southern B.C. Anchorages came into effect on February 8, 2018.

This report is for April 1 to 31, 2018.

On this page

Highlights for April

  • Transport Canada’s National Aerial Surveillance Program:
    • completed 17 coastal flights
    • visually conducted a total of 1,083 ship inspections
    • did not observe pollution from the commercial ships anchored along the south coast
  • Vancouver Fraser Port Authority continued to follow up with ships that didn’t comply with the protocol’s light and noise guidelines
    • Vancouver Fraser Port Authority continued to follow up with ships that didn’t comply with the protocol’s light and noise guidelines
    • However, the response to requests was generally positive, and we think it will improve even more as ships become aware of the protocol
    • If you submitted a report, please send us your feedback by email to: so the Chamber of Shipping and Shipping Federation of Canada can follow up with shipping companies if needed
  • Interest in the National Anchorage Initiative remains high
    • Our Vancouver Oceans Protection Plan anchorage desk continues to get inquiries about the interim protocol from coastal residents
    • We record all comments and suggestions, and share them with the national anchorages project lead

Data review

  • This month’s data review includes:
    • pie charts by south coast anchorage groupings, which show:
      • days at anchor
      • distribution among anchorages for February, March and April
    • new graphs showing total days at anchor by anchor grouping from February to April
  • To receive the summary data for south coast anchorages for February, March and April 2018 please email:
  • The number of vessels at anchor and total anchor days in the south coast declined from March, but anchorage use is still well balanced
  • Transport Canada and the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority are reviewing assignments for Cowichan Bay and Houston Pass
    • Data shows that Houston Pass was slightly underused in April, so we may need to adjust the allocation model
    • Similarly, as demand from large vessels remains high, we may need to better balance assignments between the Cowichan and Trincomali groupings
  • Some of the demand for south coast anchorages is due to bulk commodity vessels requiring several trips to Vancouver terminals for partial loading – the wait time between trips is often more than 7 days
  • Detailed data is also available at the Pacific Pilotage Authority website

Additional information

Time limit on length of stay

  • Some coastal residents have suggested that south coast anchorages should:
    • have a time limit on length of stay imposed
    • Move ships to another south coast site after a specified period be required
  • Until we fully balance the use of anchorages, we won’t make these changes – but we may consider this idea in the future
  • We also note that increasing the number of transits increases the risk of marine incidents and impacts the environment

Correction to chartlet

Correction: the chartlet included with the Interim Anchorages Protocol shows a site called Coal Mine Bay (in the Trincomali grouping). We no longer use this anchorage.

New email address for anchorage inquiries

Transport Canada Vancouver Oceans Protection Plan offices will relocate to a new floor at 800 Burrard on June 8, 2018. We will also be welcoming new people to the Pacific Anchorage Desk.

In order to ensure that we do not miss any important feedback, we’ve set up a dedicated e-mail address for all inquiries related to anchorages:


Please send your anchorage inquiries to

If you have comments or suggestions about anchorages, you may also join the conversation at Let’s Talk – Oceans Protection Plan.

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