Vancouver Island

BC, Canada

YEAR 2015 to END OF JUNE 2018


The three anchorages off Saltair (LSC, LSD,LSE) have seen an increase of 600% in the numbers of freighters and a 1200% increase in their days at anchor over the past 18 months. See statistics below.

saltari anchorages statistics

The number of freighters sent to anchor off Saltair (anchorages known as Ladysmith LSC, LSD, LSE) was for the past 3 years:

  • 2015: 2 freighters
  • 2016: 2 freighters
  • 2017: 3 freighters
  • 2018 Jan to end of June: 8 freighters
  • Projection for 2018 is estimated at: 15 freighters

=>This has resulted in an average yearly increase in number of freighters sent to anchor of:

  • 400% compared to 2017
  • 600% compared to 2016

When comparing the number of days at anchor, Saltair has seen a yearly increase of number of days at anchor as follow:

  • 2015: 9 days at anchor
  • 2016: 11 days at anchor
  • 2017: 56 days at anchor
  • 2018 Jan to end of June: 76 days at anchor
  • Projection for 2018 is estimated at: 150 days at anchor

=>This has resulted in an increase of number of days at anchor of:

  • 180% compared to 2017
  • 1,200% compared to 2016

When using a monthly average metrics, the average number of days where one of the three Saltair anchorages has been occupied by a freighter was:

  • 2015: monthly average of 1 day
  • 2016: monthly average of 1 day
  • 2017: monthly average of 5 days
  • 2018: monthly average of 13 days

These statistics show that in 2015 and 2016, Saltair anchorage would be used on average for only 1 day per month. 1/30th of the month is typically a minor nuisance. But in 2018, this number has increased by 1200% since 2016 and reached 13 days per month.

saltair monthly stats

The ‘new normal’ is to see on average a freighter anchored in one of the three Saltair anchorages for 13 days of the month. That is almost half of the time for any month, there will be at least one freighter parked in our Saltair anchorages. This changes and disrupts our rural character significantly.

This shocking invasion has been implemented with no environmental studies, no socio-economic studies, and no risk assessment despite our coastal waters have multiple users: local businesses, public recreational area, 6 public beach access, marine life, crabbing and sports fishing, swimming, etc. All these users are pushed aside to make room for these gigantic 225 vessels circling around their anchor. Their anchor chain length is about 150 to 200 m and a large portion rests on the seabed. A marine space larger than 5 football field is occupied and dedicated to each vessel. See image below for anchorages LSC, LSD, and LSE off Saltair, the swinging circle is presented at scale.

saltair anchorages at scale

The massive presence of these noisy and polluting freighters disrupts our coastal rural character and create losses related to our Environment, marine biodiversity, quiet enjoyment of waterfront properties and ecotourism, B&Bs, cottage rental, and kayak/paddling rentals.

See below some of the sources of pollution and risk to the Environment:

vessel envrionmental impact

Source: Shipping and the Environment – Springer (2016)

Their anchor and chains are scouring our seabeds, damaging the ecosystem in ways that may not be recoverable if nothing is done to stop this harm. Sponges and bi-valves rely on healthy and clean waters. However the anchor and chains create turbidity with crushed and swept organisms deteriorating the quality and diversity of the sea floor in zone larger than 2 football fields. This is described in the study conducted in Australia.

In addition, these vessels have been observed discharging fluids. There is very limited surveillance outside of Port and there is no budget to provide the needed protection for our coastal waters.