Message from Islands Trust Chair re: increased use of anchorages

Tuesday, March 13 2018

As some of you may be painfully aware, there are a large number of freighters at anchor at this time in in the Southern Gulf Islands. 

The high number of ships at anchor is a result of supply chain issues largely caused by railway capacity problems. We’ve had indications from industry that this unusual spike in vessels is expected to last about a month. Islands Trust is communicating with the Port of Vancouver, Transport Canada, and the Chamber of Shipping of BC about this (hopefully) short-term problem as well as the need for long-term, solutions to prevent vessels from having to go to anchor.

The number of vessels at anchor is now causing economic as well as environmental and social impacts. I am optimistic that change in government legislation and industry practices related to anchorages is possible. We know that the Minister of Transport has taken a serious interest in this situation and has been in communication with industry, seeking a solution.

In the short-term, however, the noise and light from the ships may be an issue for many islanders. Islands Trust Council is aware of the discomfort that ships in anchorages can cause to residents. We are working hard on your behalf to change the situation.

If you have concerns regarding noise, light or dust from ships at anchor, please report them to the Port of Vancouver’s Operations Centre at or call 604-665-9086.


Peter Luckham, Salt Spring Island

Chair, Islands Trust Council