Two freighters just off the east side of Ruxton and map of Rockfish Conservation Area boundaries around Ruxton and Pylades. Photo by Jane Hurlburt

South Coast Ship Watch Alliance welcomes “Ruxton Anchorage Watch”

We are pleased to announce that a new group of concerned citizens is joining us in our efforts to end the use of commercial freighter anchorages in the Southern Gulf Island waters.  Ruxton is one of the De Courcy Group of Islands in the Southern Gulf Islands and is located south-east of Nanaimo between Pylades and Stuart Channels. The boat-access-only …

Two freighters

Coastal community stakeholders seek firm targets from government to eliminate Southern Gulf Islands Industrial Anchorages

The South Coast Ship Watch Alliance has concerns regarding a recent Transport Canada pre-election announcement regarding marine vessel traffic management. The Alliance and other stakeholders have been seeking closure of the 33 anchorages in the Southern Gulf Islands that are a source of ongoing environmental degradation and human health concerns. The Alliance is a coalition of community groups from Cowichan Bay, Gabriola Island, …

Humpback whale tail

New Federal Budget 2021: What does it mean for Ocean Protection?

$17.6 billion was allocated to green recovery, including marine conservation.The federal government made a public commitment to protect 25% of Canada’sland and ocean by 2025, and lead globally to ensure 30% protection of the planet by2030. What does this mean for effective protection of the marine environment in the Southern Gulf Islands? Details have not been announced, but increased efforts …

Chris Straw and one of his photographs

In Memory of Chris Straw

Our South Coast Ship Watch Alliance has lost a most dedicated and passionate advocate in our efforts to protect this special place. Just a short month ago, Chris Straw died in a tragic construction accident on Gabriola Island, a place he loved. After a distinguished career at CBC Chris turned his talents to photography, capturing beautiful images of our coastlines …

Alistair MacGregor / Freighter around Thetis Island BC

New bill would prohibit freighters from anchoring around Vancouver Island

Alistair MacGregor, MP for Cowichan-Malahat-Langford, has put forth a bill to amend the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 to prohibit the anchoring of freighter vessels using coastal waters along the Southern Strait of Georgia. “In the absence of leadership from the federal government, I have decided that it is time put forward a bill to try and resolve this issue through …

Drone footage of freighters around Thetis Island BC

New petition in the House of Commons

Paul Manly, the Member of Parliament for Nanaimo-Ladysmith, and member of Green Party of Canada has put forward this new Petition in the House of Commons calling on the government to: 1. Eliminate the 33 commercial anchorages throughout the Southern Gulf Islands; 2. Improve the grain supply chain and terminal infrastructure, and evaluate the transport of U.S. thermal coal through …

Updated: Nightmare continues in Plumper Sound

Here we go again. For people living close to the water on Pender, Mayne and Saturna Islands, it’s a recurring nightmare. The sheltered area, known as Plumper Sound, is a picturesque and ecologically rich body of water in the Southwest Corner of British Columbia.  Local residents were awakened before sunrise this morning, to the harsh sounds of metal grinding and …

Record number of ships at anchor in SGI: How you can report your concerns

There has been a dramatic increase in large commercial freighters anchoring close to homes and environmentally sensitive areas in in the Southern Gulf Islands and South East Coast of Vancouver Island. The backlog of ships waiting to get into Port of Vancouver right now means there were recently 27 bulk cargo ships anchored in the Southern Gulf Islands, running huge …

Watch: Underwater treasures threatened by giant anchor chains

As part of our ongoing efforts to understand what kinds of marine life are being be affected by freighters parking in the Southern Gulf Islands, a group of local volunteers raised enough money for a dive team. They explored an area adjacent to Gabriola Island, where Transport Canada is considering five new anchorage sites. The resulting video showed an impressive …

Chamber of Shipping gives National Anchorage Initiative a failing grade

The leading voice for the shipping industry in Canada just panned Transport Canada’s plan to deal with freighter anchorages. The Chamber of Shipping issued a “report card” this week on Canada’s Oceans Protection Plan (OPP) which was launched in 2016. The OPP is a broad collection of programs designed to assure Canadians that Canada has the expertise and resources to …