The issue of anchorages off Gabriola Island was first brought to our attention by Clyde Wicks in the September October 2015 edition of the club newsletter and posted on this website on Sept. 28/15.
The Pacific Pilotage Authority is proposing five anchorages for coal ships be approved off Gabriola’s north-east side for large vessels bound for Port Vancouver and other locations. The site for the northern-most anchorage is due east of the homes located at the north end of The Strand/south end of Sandwell Provincial Park. The sites of the other four anchorages are between the end of Whalebone Drive and Eva Road just northwest of Dragons’ Lodge.
The following letter was published in Times Colonist June 25, 2016 12:43 AM
Gabriola anchorages being carefully studied
I am writing to assure the residents of Gabriola Island and other concerned individuals that Fisheries and Oceans Canada has heard their concerns about the proposed establishment of five new anchorages for large vessels along the northeast coast of Gabriola. I would also like to clarify DFO’s role in the review of this project.
The proposal was put forward by the Pacific Pilotage Authority, a Crown corporation under the responsibility of the minister of transport. The PPA is conducting an anchorage review, risk assessment, environmental review and public consultation for the project. As part of this process, the PPA has submitted the project to DFO so the department can assess the potential impacts to marine mammals, fish, fish habitat and aquatic species at risk.
The conservation and protection of Canada’s marine resources is DFO’s highest priority. We review proposals to ensure proponents avoid, mitigate and offset serious harm to fish, compliant with the Fisheries Act, and provide for the sustainability and ongoing productivity of commercial, recreational and aboriginal fisheries. Fisheries Act authorizations are required for projects that cannot avoid harming fish or fish habitat.
As the proposed anchorages are within the jurisdiction of Transport Canada, general concerns or questions about public consultation opportunities should be directed to Transport Canada through their online comment form tc.gc.ca/eng/ contact-us.htm or by calling 1-866-995-9737.
Rebecca Reid, Regional Director General
Fisheries and Oceans Canada