The Anchorages Concern Thetis group makes some strong points about the increase in the number of freighters stationed around the island for long periods of time.
The most compelling arguments to us are the environmental issues and the fact these ships aren’t moving from the region more rapidly.
The discharges are always a concern and no one really knows what materials are being dumped into the ocean around the island, particularly at Trincomali Channel. The sensitive ecosystems of our waters are bound to be affected in some way.
The group’s assessment that this long-term parking is more a sign of industry inefficiency is quite correct. We’re told this is the price for a robust economy, but how can that be the case when ships are sitting idle so long?
There’s obviously a scheduling problem at the Vancouver docks, Roberts Bank or wherever the ships are headed. The back-up should never be extended to more than 40 days, as the group has observed.
There must be some kind of price to pay for this slow-moving pace to the ships going into port rather than allowing them to ‘park’ outside Thetis (and others areas around the Gulf Islands) without any cost.
Regular boat owners pay a heavy moorage fee just to dock for a few days so certainly some kind of a charge could be levied for the inconvenience of having these ships around so long. It might even get things moving more quickly if there’s an added cost.
The group also brings up the issues of noise, the affect on property values, the damage to the ocean floor from the use of heavy chains and much more.
Just like the situation with derelict vessels, the federal government seems to keep dragging its feet on marine issues while the freighters continue dragging their anchors.