Vancouver Island

BC, Canada

Gulf Island and East Coast of Vancouver Island

In 2017, during the first 6 months of the Interim Protocol, BC pilots have been instructed to bring an astounding number of 108 freighters to park in one of the 33 anchorages of the area.

In comparison, for the same period between February and end of June 2017, only 102 were sent to park in the same area.

And it gets more interesting to see where things were at in 2016.

For the same period between February and end of June 2016 there were only 19 freighters sent in this area!

For the entire year 2016, only 109 freighters were sent in the Gulf Island and East Coast of Vancouver Island.statistics number of vessels sent to anchor

It is quite a coincidence that the year 2017 was exceptionally high for no particular reason, except it is the year just before the Interim Protocol was launched and used as a baseline reference by the Interim Protocol to measure progress.

Number of days at anchor during the 6 month of the Interim Protocol

The Interim Protocol claims they have reduced the number of days at anchor as follow: (source: IP report #6)

OPP IP stats



As we can see on this chart, the Interim Protocol has reduced some areas and increased others dramatically, spreading the pollution brought by these freighters all over the SGI and East Coast of Vancouver Island. It is called ‘equalizing’ the usage of anchorages. The aim is not to have a set of anchorages more used than others. Is this something useful? Is it reducing the impact of large commercial in our area? As shown on this chart, 11 anchorages had no freighters in the same period of 2017 and have seen a dramatic increase, which means more marine life affected and more communities affected.

Also, there are only 30 anchorages presented while there are 33 anchorages included in the Interim protocol. Where is the data for the 3 missing anchorages?

For this short period Feb to June, the overall number of days at anchor is similar to 2017 with a decrease of 3% only, but the number of freighters and the traffic has increased from 102 to 108 vessels, a 6% increase as shown above.

The comparison for such a small window of time is giving a distorted view and not a holistic view of the entire picture. We urge that the Interim Protocol measure progress with a more appropriate and reliable baseline, at least looking of 3 years. Using a more extended period and using metrics that measure the impact of these anchored vessels is necessary to draw a holistic picture of the issue at stake. Counting days at anchor is not telling the whole story about the actual traffic of freighters, how many residents are impacted, and the impact on marine life and the environment with such an expanded affected area.

Overall, for the past 18 months the increase in traffic and for the entire SGI and East Coast of Vancouver Island, the traffic has increased dramatically by 150% increase in BC assignments between 2016 and 2018 (est*): in 2016 BC pilots has performed 222 assignments and in 2018 )est *) they will have conducted 554 assignments. This increase can not be explained by a rise in Port activity. The past 18 months have seen an abnormal and significant growth, and this overall increase issue is not addressed by the Interim Protocol.

A new Protocol should investigate why, in the past two years, so many vessels have been sent to anchor outside of Port? An investigation is necessary. How many spots were not occupied during the same period in Ports? Since the Interim Protocol started, we have sent numerous complaints with evidence that many places are empty in Ports while vessels are crowding our area. Ports are not maximizing their anchorages while coastal communities are victimized and burdened more and more.


Also, under the Interim Protocol, the impact on communities has worsened with many more areas and residents affected as the pollution has been spread everywhere in the area of the Gulf Islands and the East Coast of Vancouver Island. The chart below shows the number of newly affected areas and the change for already affected areas.


affected areas Interim Protocol



We have developed a 5 points analysis presented in a post in this website with detailed reasoning and evidence that no tangible results has been achieved by the Interim Protocol for any of its objectives and goals. This project is not helpful and a waste of taxpayers money. We need to pressure our Federal Government to work at resolving the actual issues, not just spreading the pollution around.