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:
Identify and assess the safety, economic, environmental, cultural and social impacts (benefits and drawbacks) of vessels anchoring inside and outside Canadian public ports jurisdictions.
To identify and analyze technologies and practices to minimize the impact and/or use of anchorage.