Frsaer Port Authority Amendment to "PIG" (!)

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  • #14492
    Nick Heath

    Today’s announcement by the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority might represent more muscle-flexing.  They claim that they are “issuing amendments to the Port Information Guide” but I am suspicious that changing the Fraser R to a Traffic Control Zone (TCZ) from a “Movement Restriction Area” (MRA) effectively bans paddlecraft from the South (Main) Arm of the Fraser R between Sandheads and New Westminster.

    The operative phrases seem to be:

    “The Fraser River South Arm Traffic Control Zone (TCZ-4) comprises an area extending for a maximum of 61m either side of the charted deep-sea navigation channel or the shoreline, whichever is least”
    “All vessels navigating within TCZ-4 shall monitor VHF Channel 74”
    “All Tier 2 vessels including fishing vessels, pleasure craft and sailing vessels, when transiting TCZ-4 must be under adequate mechanical power.”
    “Tier 2 vessel – Means all other vessel traffic operating in the TCZ-4 boundaries including fishing vessels, pleasure craft and sailing vessels.”

    I believe these restrictions are similar to the TCZ restrictions at First Narrows and Second Narrows. Unlike at those two locations, I was not aware of  any previous ban on hand or wind-powered vessels on the Fraser R.  I have paddled in this area and do not consider that I have been a danger to myself or to shipping.  So, if this is new, I don’t support it and will try to stop it.

    Please let me know if you are aware of any existing paddling ban on this part of the River.  The 61 m width of each margin of TCZ beyond the deep, dredged channel covers all of the river, except near at some locations such as by Ladner and Deas I, where the river is wider.

    This refers Port Information Guide

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
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  • #14888
    Nick Heath

    Yup, Nancy!

    Conserve energy! (pesky, annoying, incompetent bureaucrats can’t draft things with any care or bother to respond to questions until prodded by the Press). Thank goodness we still have a Press!

    Nancy More

    Does this mean that I no longer have to pull out my soapbox and write a letter?    One more thing off my To Do list for today!

    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!

    Mick Allen

    This is of significant concern to SKABC especially.  The Fraser River and Howe Sound are immediate  embracing hands holding our paddling interest for now and the future. We are making great progress in Howe Sound . . . but on the other hand to lose corresponding possibilities on the Fraser River would be devastating.

    Any words of concern should be made to

    <i>Marine Operations Specialist</i>

    as noted above.


    Philip Kubik

    Comments on this issue should be sent to:

    Marine Operations Specialist

    The deadline is Wednesday March 14, 2018

    The following letter from the Share the Fraser Coalition provides some details about the proposal from the Vancouver Port Authority. The letter was provided by Cathy Cook of PIKA.

    March 6, 2018

    We are a coalition of paddle clubs, paddle-craft oriented businesses, associations and other interested parties who have become aware that newly proposed amendments to the practices and procedures contained in the Port Information Guide may have a significant and negative impact on our usage of the Lower Fraser River. A number of our members have submitted emails detailing our concerns and requesting clarification, but to the best of our knowledge, there has not yet been a response.

    Our chief concerns are as follows:

    1. While the notice of amendment indicates that the “Vancouver Fraser Port Authority has developed and formalized practices and procedures for vessel traffic control and safety in the Fraser River in collaboration with the Pacific Pilotage Authority (PPA), the Fraser River Pilots (FRP) and the broader marine community”, we are unaware of any consultation with any of our associate members. Given the historical significance that paddle-craft travel has had on the Fraser, we see this as a significant oversight.


    1. The proposed regulation states that “All Tier 2 vessels including fishing vessels, pleasure craft and sailing vessels, when transiting TCZ-4 must be under adequate mechanical power.”  The definition of a Tier 2 vessel is “all other vessel traffic operating in the TCZ-4 boundaries including fishing vessels, pleasure craft and sailing vessels.”


    1. We have become concerned that the proposed addition of 122 meters onto the existing 200 to 250 meters wide deep-sea navigation channel, together with other restrictions suggested for this new TCZ-4 zone, will effectively prohibit human-powered watercraft from the Lower Fraser. In several sections from New Westminster to the mouth of the Fraser River, increasing the deep-sea navigational channel by 122 meters will extend the new zone as far as the shoreline.


    By way of addressing these concerns and in an effort to clarify our respective positions and find agreeable solutions, we request that the Port Authority commit to consultation with our coalition and extend the deadline for public input on these proposals in order to allow sufficient time to do so.

    Share the Fraser Coalition confirmed members as of 0716 this date:

    BC Marine Trails Network Association


    Kaymaraan Adventure Tours

    Pacific International Kayak Association

    Sea Kayak Association of BC

    \Western Canoeing and Kayaking

    West Beach Paddle Sports

    Nick Heath

    I wrote to the Port Authority with my and what I believe to be our club’s objections. Since then, a number of other clubs have become involved including PIKA and several canoe clubs. They are forming a loose “Share the Fraser Coalition”.  All are encouraging multiple individual letters and are attempting to get some press attention.  Help with this appreciated if you can – as much as anything it is a matter of principle that the non-motorized sector be consulted on matters like this – it’s the same problem as last year’s thwarted attempt to block Siwash Raock etc.

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