Can’t ships anchor where ever they want under international law?

The common law right to navigation does include the incidental right to anchor. But it refers to anchoring temporarily where it is safe to do so. Legal interpretations recognize that it includes qualifiers like “for a reasonable length of time” and “for reasonable purposes”. We question whether consistent, lengthy anchoring, directly linked to commercial activity inside the Port of Vancouver, qualifies under this right.

Also, freighter anchoring is already prohibited by Canadian Law in other Canadian locations.

Finally, the Federal Minister of Transport, has authority under Section 35.1 of the Canada Shipping Act to “make regulations respecting the protection of the marine environment from the impacts of navigation and shipping activities, including … prohibiting the operation, navigation and anchoring” of vessels including freighters.