Vancouver Island

BC, Canada


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Category Archive Thetis

VISHVA PREETI is a MASSIVE bulk carrier in anchorage C is too big


I am very disappointed and shocked to see the Interim Protocol has assigned a vessel of 229m , the VISHVA PREETI, to be parked in Anchorage C.

The documents established by PPA in 2016 during the anchorages review only allows vessels of 225 m in this anchorage. This is a violation of PPA’s safety directions and operating parameters for this anchorage. See the document attached.

There was no risk assessment done to allow for such a large vessel to park in anchorage C. This vessel should be removed immediately.

In addition, the vessel has been parked further away from the Ladysmith Port most probably to accommodate loggers but is now much closer to the Rock Fish conservation area.

As a result Industrial activity and nuisance is shifted toward the Rock Fish area and the planned Salish Sea Marine Conservation area with all the negative consequences for the Environment.

It is also a serious concern for eco-tourism as it is a massive vessel obstructing all the views of Coffin island and the Gulf Island on the West. It is also very noisy and there is a trail of black smoke coming from its chimney 24 hours from its generator.

This vessel is way too big for our area and creates an unacceptable threat to our marine environment and eco-tourism.

Also FYI, this anchorage was already occupied by a noisy vessel for 30 days between Dec 23 and Jan 23. The quietness and character of Saltair is jeopardized with such frequent use and now this massive vessel.
When is it going to stop?

Best regards,

Kay Morisset
Saltair Resident

freighter in the smoke


Dear Ms Poruks

Thank you for your email.

Before I delve into the issues discussed, I wanted to share a dream I had last night about an email you could have sent me before the long weekend, it was saying:

“We are very sorry that despite our best efforts, the Ports anchorages have become full. There are three large freighters that we had to send in your coastal waters to anchor. One will only be here a couple of days, the other a few days, and the 3rd one will have a long wait of possibly a couple of weeks. We would like to assure you that we do everything possible and we work in close collaboration with ship agents and ports authorities to make sure this does not happen again. We have put in place new technologies that allow us to track in real time where ships and loads are located. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the rendezvous for these ships were missed and had to be rescheduled. We know this Labor Day long weekend is the last of the summer, and an important time for your community to enjoy your beaches and marine recreational activities. We sincerely apologize and ask for your understanding and cooperation as we make progress toward reaching our goals of achieving just-in time berthing and reducing the need to have any freighters sent to park in an outside-of-Port anchorage. Your truly”

Unfortunately, my dream was far from the reality. Several other residents and I had to write emails to you to inquire about the invasion of 3 freighters in our coastal waters for this long weekend. The media were alerted. CHEK NEWS TV featured our group. We received lots of community attention and support. We hope that our TV segment has reached your office and will give you a better sense of the crisis created by the Interim Protocol in our small rural coastal village. You can see it here:

That’s said, when I received your answer, I felt very much shocked and disappointed with the lack of depth and accuracy of your email. It was more like a nightmare and quite far from my dream.

Please see my comments on the following 5 points:


I am not aware that the Interim Protocol (IP) has performed any actual measurement of the quantity of light in lumens received on shore, in our streets, in our parks, and in people’s households. I exchanged a few emails with Jeff, but I could not get any clear answer as how many lights the STAR GRAN – that was parked in the middle of the tourist season for ten days right across my B&B – should have displayed at anchor. I was aware of other residents who have tackled this issue at the beginning of the IP, gave several phone calls, and finally obtained occasionally that a couple of lights be re-oriented or turned off; However, this hard work would not prevent that the lights would come back a few days later or start again with the next vessel. Some people that I know gave up trying to get any improvement on the bright lights illuminating our shores and joined their voices to our group.


Why is the Interim protocol not doing any decibel measurements? Many of these vessels emit sounds in our residential area that are not compliant with our local bylaws for noise. However, the Interim Protocol has not acknowledged these violations. Vancouver Port has a network of surveillance with an online app to monitor noise; we have nothing of that sort. I am aware of residents who have looked in this issue, performed decibels measurements by using an app on their phones, but they have not received any specific answer from the Interim Protocol. What is the threshold of decibels these vessels should comply with? As far as I know, all the Interim Protocol has done is deflecting the issue and not providing any actual number that could be measured and complied with.


Among the affected people who have endured the sleepless nights and constant nuisance, there is no resident, that I know of, who has sent a letter to the Interim protocol to acknowledge any actual progress on such matter as the sound and noise nuisance.

Nonetheless, the Interim Protocol continues to claim that progress has been made despite there is no evidence of such development. This claim appears fictitious and unsubstantiated. Where is the evidence of actual progress? Where are the measurements to attest to this? Where are the testimonials of happy residents?


We hear a lot about the Interim protocol being useful for data collection. Now I was curious, what data is collected precisely and how is it useful? Here is an inventory I have attempted to clarify this aspect:

• Sound and light nuisance are not measured, therefore not collected.

• Complaints from residents are somewhat counted and collected. Summaries are incomplete. Most feedback is left out and none was used for any purpose so far.

• Discharges from vessels are not seen. A discharge in our area was caught on camera. There were two versions of the alleged content: one from the ship agent, one for the IP staff and they were different. The discharge was not sampled and not analyzed.

• The Interim Protocol collects data to inform the number of rotations of a fair weather plane over our area and if pollution visible by this plane has been seen. Other pollution invisible to the plane are left out resulting in a false sense of safety.

Let’s examine one more exciting area of data collection: The AIS data emitted by a vessel’s transceiver. Marine Traffic and Vessel Finders have developed new online app displaying interactive maps showing the location of all ships around the world.

It would be easy to assume the Interim Protocol is collecting AIS data and therefore would be able to produce:

– Heat maps showing the traffic of freighters close to the habitats of the endangered Killer Whales and the Blue Herons nesting areas. These maps would be so useful to make sure all mitigation is done to prevent further nuisance.

– Mapping of seabed areas impacted by anchors and chain scouring. This would be so useful as a starting point to study the cumulative effect and cost to our ecosystem.

Sadly, the IP had no mandate and expressed no interest to produce maps that would allow visualizing some of the impacts on our area. Furthermore, as we approach the 7th month of the start of the Interim protocol, it appears the IP has not been collecting and analyzing AIS data.

Instead, IP staff seems to be waiting for the quarterly reports from Pacific Pilotage Authority (PPA) providing BC pilots’ assignments. It appears that IP staff is using such PPA data to calculate days at anchor for each vessel and then do a few color charts and send them to the stakeholders. I think this is the kind of data analysis process that a high school student could manage.

Indeed, BC pilots’ movements are well known and have been tracked for almost a decade. Data collected by PPA is publicly available and can be requested in Excel format.

I wonder if the IP staff has the software capability to retrieve current and historical AIS data. Or if there are any, their results have not been shared as promised. All I can see is the IP is falling short one more time trailing behind: not using big data analysis and not leveraging current and historical AIS data.

As per my understanding, when the BC Chamber of Shipping and the Island Trust requested that the Interim Protocol to be extended, they argued about the benefit of extending the data collection period. I wonder what they referring to? Based on my analysis, I can not see much interest in the current data collection performed by the IP.


In your email, you state that you estimate that 2018 has not been worse than 2017 in the Gulf Islands and that my assertion that the situation has worsened is incorrect. I am surprised and intrigued how you came to that conclusion.

Other groups have shared statistics that have led me to this assertion. If you have in your possession historical statistical data, it would be beneficial to the process that these are shared with me and the other groups.

On my side, in the absence of a reliable statistical data set provide by IP, I am in the process of performing statistical analysis using reliable sources and will come back to you with results as soon as they are available.

Finally, there are other interpretations in your email that I disagree with but I have not had time to address yet or have been already addressed in our committee’s letter to the minister of transport. Just in case this document was not provided to you, see it attached.

In conclusion, let’s not forget the big picture. The Interim Protocol takes a grandstand to say it is working to “reduce the impacts of large vessels at anchor outside port authorities in southern British Columbia,” however all it is doing is to continue to send freighters polluting the Gulf Islands, and, in more areas than before. The IP is not delivering the benefits it has advertised.

The efforts of Transport Canada should instead be directed at improving the effectiveness of Ports Authorities and the Canadian supply chain to achieve just-in-time berthing and stop having all these freighters waiting and idling in our coastal waters, generating pollution, and economic waste.

In my opinion, there is no reason to continue something that does not work. Better to save the money and start a new project involving Port Authorities, Ship Agents and supply chain agents to strive to achieve just-in-time berthing. Then the efforts will be rewarded.

Successful projects do the right things right by leveraging new technologies and modernizing processes. Based on my analysis, I believe that the Interim Protocol fails to achieve any objectives and is one of them.

Yours truly,
Saltair Advocate In Chief

frighter parked coastal waters

Recreational Shellfish Harvesting Zone

to TC.PacificAnchorages-Ancragesdupacifique.TC, vija.poruks, Min, jeff.pelton, yvette.myers, louise.murgatroyd, alain.paquet, harbour_master, robert, bonnie, contact.vancouver, me, info

We are writing to express dissatisfaction and grave concern with the relatively new usage of the waters off Thetis Island, Yellow Point and Saltair as anchorages for large commercial vessels.

The running of multiple freighter engines and dragging of anchors completely undermines the Endangered whales protection component of the Oceans Protection Plan which seeks to reduce underwater noise. Killer whales and porpoise frequent this area and last summer a group of both animals were residing around Thetis Island – Kulleet Bay down to the Shoal Islands. Yesterday, we counted 8 or 9 freighters anchored around the north end of Thetis Island/Kulleet Bay. The presence of so many freighters will their accompanying noise is a threat to these marine animals.

The ocean area between Kulleet Bay, Thetis Island and Saltair contains two significant Department of Oceans and Fisheries Rockfish Conservation zones: Area 17 Thetis-Kuper and Coffin Point. It is a contradiction to set aside conservation areas and then allow the seabed outside them to be continually disturbed with the anchoring activities of massive ships dragging their gigantic anchors through the sea bottom.

The coastlines in Saltair, Yellowpoint and Thetis Island are located within Fisheries and Oceans area 17-6 and the majority of the rural shoreline is zoned a recreational shellfish harvesting zone. For instance, the shellfish harvesting zone for Saltair extends from Boulder Point down to Askew Creek in Chemainus (excluding the areas around Porter Creek and Clifcoe Road). Anchoring freighters close in to such areas is incompatible with food safety.

Lastly, anchoring gigantic commercial vessels in this area doesn’t conform to the Oceans Protection Plan for a “Healthier coast”. While DFO resources are focused on “the abandoned and wrecked vessels removal program” for small boats, vastly larger ships are being moved into our clean, quiet waters which will have a far larger negative impact on a healthier coast. Especially, when such ships are allowed to pollute with underwater and aerial noise, continuously running lights, deck discharge of unknown content, and leeched toxins from anti-fouling paint covering their vast underwater hulls.

We respectfully request that commercial anchorages off Saltair, Thetis Island and Kullett Bay be revisited and withdrawn, and commercial ships be parked in the ports of Royal Roads (Victoria), Nanaimo, English Bay and Vancouver Harbour.

[Saltair Resident]