Tankers and Whales

There continues to be much controversy about deep sea ship traffic in the waters of British Columbia.  Environmentalists are concerned that when and if the Trans Mountain Pipeline is completed there might be one (1) additional tanker per day departing the Port of Vancouver. The concerns are twofold: safety and possible threat to the local Orcas. 

Currently there are approximately 3200 deep sea ships visiting the port each year. That includes container ships, freighters, tankers and cruise ships. So that means there are around 6400 ship movements each year or  about 17  per day. Add another tanker per day and its 18 per day. At the same time BC FERRIES make approximately 124,000 trips per year and they are adding 2700 more. That will mean 358 ferry movements per day. To think one more deep sea ship per day will have a serious effect on the Whales is not a believable argument.

 

Consider also these interesting facts. In the narrow Strait of Gibraltar there are more than 120,000 ship movements per year. In the English Channel there are about 185,000 ship movements per year. In Singapore 365,000 ships come and go per year, 1000 each and every day. The Port of Rotterdam sees nearly 30,000 deep sea ships and 120,000 inland ships each year. 14,000 ships transit the Panama Canal annually. 

Since 1970, according to the Port of Vancouver, 153,949 deep sea ships have visited Vancouver. Since they almost all arrive and depart via Juan de Fuca Strait, Haro Strait and the southern part of Georgia Strait, that means in 49 years more than 300,000 deep sea ships have transited Haro Strait etc without an incident. No collisions, no groundings, no sinkings. 

As to the concerns about oil tankers, consider that the Port of Vancouver currently sees about 30-50 tankers per year. The pipeline could cause an increase to about 400 per year. That sounds like a lot but consider that the Port of Rotterdam sees 8,200 tankers per year and the Port of Singapore sees about 22,000 tankers per year.  So Singapore has 120 tankers arriving or departing every day. Vancouver would see one per day. 

It is my view that the concerns about the safety of ship traffic in our waters unfounded. 

Just saying…

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