Letter: DFO Statement on Anchorages Review

Tuesday, July 5 2016

I am writing to assure the residents of Gabriola Island and other concerned individuals that Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) 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 (PPA), a federal Crown corporation under the responsibility of the Minister of Transport. The PPA is currently 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 at www.tc.gc.ca/eng/contact-us.htm, or by telephone at 1-866-995-9737. 

Sincerely,

Rebecca Reid

Regional Director General

Pacific Region, Fisheries and Oceans Canada