Understanding the impacts of anchoring and related mitigation measures, technologies and practices
Project Duration
December 2018
March 2019
Research Priority Area
Maritime Law, Policy and Governance
Project Website

Understanding the impacts of anchoring and related mitigation measures, technologies and practices

The right to anchor a vessel is part of the common law right of navigation. As such, a vessel is generally free to anchor temporarily in any safe location unless such anchoring is specifically prohibited by statute or legislation. Ships in Canadian waters must follow safety and security rules and procedures at all times. Whenever possible, commercial ships are allocated anchorages within a Canada Port Authority’s or a public port’s area of jurisdiction and management. However, there are occasions when the volume of shipping exceeds the capacity of anchorages under the control of ports, leading to reliance on nearby sheltered waters that are suitable for the anchoring of commercial shipping vessels.

Anticipated traffic growth in the Asia Pacific Corridor as well as factors such as the completion of the Panama Canal expansion project suggests that there will be increased pressure to identify additional anchorages to meet demand.  As such, current and future needs for anchorage sites will require a clear process to identify and characterize anchorages for vessels.

To that end, the principal focus project Understanding the Impacts of Anchoring and Related Mitigation Measures, Technologies and Practices are twofold:

  1. 1.   The impacts of vessels anchoring outside Canadian public ports jurisdictions;

Identify and assess the safety, economic, environmental, cultural and social impacts (benefits and drawbacks) of vessels anchoring inside and outside Canadian public ports jurisdictions.

  1. 2.   Improvement options including incentives to drive anchorage behaviour changes;

To identify and analyze technologies and practices to minimize the impact and/or use of anchorage.

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Principal Investigator
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Co-principal investigator
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Project Officer
Tafsir Matin Johansson
Assistant Professor (Research/Ocean Sustainability, Governance & Management)
Satya Sahoo
Assistant Professor