The Canadian Coast Guard is working to assess known problem vessels across Canada in order to:
- assess vessels’ level of risk;
- rank and prioritize vessels by risk and complexity;
- monitor and prepare contingency plans for high risk-vessels; and
- address the highest risk vessels first.
Some considerations when assessing problem vessels are:
- the vessel could be impeding navigation or threatening sensitive marine habitats or species at risk.
- the vessel could be carrying dangerous or toxic cargo.
- there could be fuel remaining onboard, which poses a risk of leaking into the environment.
- the vessel could be deteriorating or hazardous to navigation, such as if it is partially or fully submerged.
- the vessel could be damaging the local economy by taking up space in a harbour or blocking navigation channels, or it could damage marine infrastructure such as wharves and buoys if not properly secured.
- Fisheries and species at risk:
- the vessel could be a threat to commercial, recreational and social and ceremonial fisheries or aquaculture. It could also risk polluting important spawning grounds, key habitats or migration routes for vulnerable species.
- Indigenous peoples:
- the vessel could be located in Indigenous territories, impacting Indigenous rights and community well-being.
- the vessel could be unsecured and unmonitored, posing a high risk to the public if they attempt to board it. Also, vessels close to drinking water sources risk contamination.
The methodology for assessing the risks posed by a vessel was developed in consultation with partners including Indigenous groups, industry stakeholders and coastal communities.
The Canadian Coast Guard is focused on assessing the risks associated with each problem vessel to prioritize response for high risk vessels. To date, over 2,000 vessels of concern have been identified in the National inventory.
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