Freighters in Paradise


A seemingly minor issue for the community but the repeated anchoring of ships is actually a terrible problem for the waterfront residents, reports Hakai magazine.

What’s the cause of concern?

Most importantly, the community is mostly concerned about noise arising from generator frictions and the visual disturbance originating from powerful ship-lights. Cormorants breaking the transparent surface and the froth kissing the Cowichan Bay of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, somewhat disturbs the view of Saltspring Island. Three red and black freighters had to wait for a distance of 300 metres to dock their ships across the Strait of Georgia.

“They’re anchoring in residential areas but should be in an industrial port,” says Neil MacDonald, Vice President of the Cowichan Bay Ship Watch Society.

Turnishing the Island’s Beauty

Grain freighters are considered a regular patron and enjoy the facilities of an emblem of the city’s ancient tradition and heritage practice. But, the one-hour ferry ride from the mainland is not only becoming an issue of inconvenience for the local residents, but also engraving a dark trail in the bewitching beauty of the island.

Environmental Concern

Apart from their majorly sleepless nights, the residents are also worried about the threat that is gradually caused to their “lush Paradise”—the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve. The continuous spilling of shipping fuel may cause a negative effect on the seabed as well as on the park.

Accidents Reiterate the Concerns

Well, the threats anticipated by the local minds are not at all baseless. Their views and thoughts are substantiated by an incident in 2009. The 242-meter bulk carrier Hebei Lion dragged its anchor in a tempest and ran aground on Conconi Reef in Plumper Sound, between Mayne and Pender Islands. However, with intense good fortune, the vessel floated freely at high tide and was returned to its anchorage with no visible damage.

How is it effecting people?

With ever increasing global population incessantly growing demand for shipped goods similar difference of opinions between citizens and industry are arising in Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. Issues like interference with activities like fishing have been put forward several times. In USA, similar circumstances have come up in Seattle and Samish Island in Washington State and in the Florida community of Cape Charles.

How to tackle this?

In order to take care of the situation, Transport Canada has taken a National Anchorages initiative to modify oversight procedures for anchorages outside of the port authority’s boundaries with sufficient concentration on environmental concerns. It is funded through the CAN $1.5-billion Oceans Protection Plan. “It’s time to have a really close look at the way anchorages outside of ports are managed, selected, and monitored,” said Poruks.

Industrialists are also anxious to come to a solution to the traffic jostle and hence are trying to plan with all their innovative yet profitable ideas.

“I’d like something like a single window where all that administration and red tape can be handled relatively effortlessly in one swoop,” says Robert Lewis-Manning, President of the Chamber of Shipping of British Columbia. He also seconds the fact that efficiency should be improved through better supply of cargo and faster loading.

According to him, by opting for this, the outcomes could be a great benefit for both the residents and the industry.

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Source: Hakai magazine