Banner Photo: Rusty, submerged vessel near Watts Point, Murrin Provincial Park, 2019. (Credit: Fiona Beaty)

2020 Rating

2020 Rationale

The passage of Bill C-64 has increased resources available for removal of vessels; however, this is a complex issue and further refining of legislation is necessary.

2017 Rating

2017 Rationale

Abandoned, wrecked and derelict vessels continue to populate Howe Sound calling attention to the need for a coordinated effort to track owners and enforce marine laws. While there is some effort and movement on the problem, including commitments in the new federal Ocean Protection Plan, the costs and removal strategies associated with existing problem vessels remain largely unaddressed.

The following is an excerpt from the full updated article. Download the full 2020 article for all content and references.

Wrecked, Abandoned and Problem Vessels

Authors: Ian Winn, Director, Atl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound Biosphere Region Initiative

Aroha Miller, Manager, Ocean Watch, Ocean Wise Research Institute

Reviewer: Kate-Louise Stamford, Islands Trust Trustee

Lucie McKiernan, Constituency Assistant to MP Pamela Goldsmith-Jones

Excerpt from 2020 article

Wrecked, abandoned and problem vessels continue to be an issue in the waters and shorelines of Átl’ḵa7tsem/Txwnéwu7ts/ Howe Sound. Every winter, storms leave wrecked boats on shorelines and submerged in the waters around Átl’ḵa7tsem/Txwnéwu7ts/Howe Sound. In addition, debris from boats and other structures (e.g., docks) create environmental issues due to pollution and habitat destruction, and/or navigational hazards.

Read the full article to see what else is happening.

Background: Derelict vessel washed ashore near Ḵ’iḵ’élx̱n/Port Mellon, Átl’ḵa7tsem/Txwnéwu7ts/Howe Sound, 2019. (Credit: Ian Winn)

What’s been done since 2017?

The table below reports on progress made on recommended actions from the previous 2017 article, where identified. Many of these require ongoing action.

2017 Action Action Taken
Individual and Organization Actions
A group of citizens and government representatives could assemble to collectively share data and develop integrated solutions to reduce ecological, social and economic impacts associated with wrecked, abandoned and problem vessels in Átl’ḵa7tsem/ Txwnéwu7ts/Howe Sound. Since April 2019, the MRG has been working on identifying and inventorying problem vessels and debris throughout Átl’ḵa7tsem/Txwnéwu7ts/Howe Sound. You can view the inventory here.
Government Action and Policy
Implement owner pay policies. The introduction of Bill C-64 on July 31, 2019, increases owner responsibility and liability for vessels, and puts the responsibility and liability for abandoned vessels back on vessel owners.

What can you do?

A detailed overview of recommended actions relating to climate change is included in The path to zero carbon municipalities. In some cases, no progress was identified on previous recommended actions; these remain listed below. Additional actions marked as NEW also follow.

action-individual Individual and Organization Actions:

    • Avoid the incineration of organic matter and plastics to prevent the release of dioxins into the air and coastal environment.
    • NEW If you see a potentially abandoned, wrecked or problem vessel, photograph it and take note of as many of the following details as you can: the vessel name; boat registration; who the owner may be; contact details for the owner; the date you spotted the vessel/how long it has been there; information on what it contains and what it is made from; type of vessel (e.g., dinghy, sailboat). Report these findings to [email protected].
    • NEW Send tips, solutions or success stories to [email protected].

action-governmentGovernment Action and Policy:

  • Keep vessel inventories.
  • Enforce local and municipal bylaws with respect to live-aboards.
  • Develop educational material to increase awareness of environmental risks associated with problem vessels.
  • Develop policies to close the gaps in jurisdiction over problem vessels.
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