Reply To: Frsaer Port Authority Amendment to "PIG" (!)

Nick Heath

Danielle Jang of the Port Authority issued this clarification yesterday:

“Below is some information and clarification on the proposed amendments. Let me know if you have any questions on this or need further information.

“Ensuring the safe navigation of all vessels through the waterways in our jurisdiction is of paramount importance to the port authority. Over the last few years, we have been working with industry partners, including the Pacific Pilotage Authority (PPA), the Fraser River Pilots (FRP) and the broader marine industry, to formalize existing best practices and procedures for marine vessel traffic control and safety in the Fraser River.

The purpose of the Traffic Control Zone 4 (TCZ-4) Vessel Traffic Procedures, subsection (c) Tier 2 Vessel Regulations including Fishing and Pleasure Craft, is to ensure operators of non-motorized vessels, including kayaks and paddleboards, are aware of the hazards and risks of collision in this area that are unique to river waters and narrow channels and comply with existing Canadian Law. Under the Canada Shipping Act<,_c._1416/page-3.html#docCont>, Collision Regulations, it is stated that “a vessel of less than 20 metres in length or a sailing vessel shall not impede the passage of a vessel which can safely navigate only within a narrow channel or fairway,” such as is the case in the Fraser River. The port authority considered this existing law in the development of the Fraser River Traffic Control Zone.

We recognize that there have been some concerns regarding these procedures, and as a result of public feedback we have already received during the 30-day public comment period, we will be providing further clarification within the Port Information Guide concerning paddle boarders and kayakers, specifically as it relates to operating in and around the TCZ-4. In the image below of the Fraser River safe boating guide<>, the red lines indicate the deep-sea vessel transit route. Clarification will be included in the guide to illustrate that the TCZ-4 procedures apply only within these red lines. Non-motorized vessels can still cross the TCZ-4, but are advised that this is a deep-sea vessel transit route and it is not safe to cross when a deep-sea vessel is transiting, as a larger vessel cannot deviate from its course or come to a full stop in a short distance.

Language will also be added to the procedures clarifying that in cases where the TCZ-4 borders on the shoreline, operators of vessels not suitable to transit within the deep-sea vessel route in the TCZ-4 shall navigate as close to the shoreline as is safe and practical. These practices and procedures are in line with international best practice, including those described in the Collision Regulations.”

This seems to be a case of poor communications on the part of the Port Authority  – inadequate care taken in drafting regulations  and lack of proper outreach to its community. But they know how to waste everyone else’s time!