Government of Canada takes action against abandoned, wrecked or hazardous boats
July 6, 2023
Ottawa, Ontario - In Canada, shipowners must maintain and dispose of their boats responsibly. Abandoned, wrecked or hazardous boats can pose threats to the environment, local communities and economies, which is why it has been illegal to abandon your boat since 2019. Through Canada’s Oceans Protection Plan, the Government of Canada continues to take action to address problem vessels across the country.
Today, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Joyce Murray, announced the Canadian Coast Guard will now take action against owners of hazardous boats or wrecks. This will strengthen the Canadian Coast Guard’s ability to address problem vessels, and ensure irresponsible boat owners are held financially liable.
The Canadian Coast Guard works together with boat owners to address problem vessels. The Canadian Coast Guard will now provide written notices to owners when their boat poses a hazard. The Canadian Coast Guard can then issue fines, when appropriate. Not complying with a written notice can result in fines of up to $50,000 for individuals and $250,000 for companies or corporations. Serious offences could result in a maximum fine of $1 million for individuals, and up to 3 years of jail and $6 million for companies or corporations. This new Compliance and Enforcement program is another tool to support our efforts to keep our waters and communities safe and free from marine hazards.
Abandoned, wrecked or hazardous boats are a problem across Canada. Through Canada’s Oceans Protection Plan, the Government of Canada is taking further action to address problem vessels, educate boat owners and protect Canada’s coasts and waterways.
“Our main goal is to strengthen the Canadian Coast Guard’s ability to protect the marine environment. We will ensure that owners take responsibility for hazards posed by their boats and that waterways remain safe and enjoyable for everyone.”
The Honourable Joyce Murray, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
The Canadian Coast Guard maintains a publicly available national inventory of problem boats across Canada to better track these boats and help prioritize which ones should be dealt with first. To date, over 2,000 wrecked, abandoned or hazardous boats have been reported.
Since 2016, under the Oceans Protection Plan, the Government of Canada has funded almost 500 projects to remove and dispose of abandoned, wrecked or hazardous boats across Canada and has made it illegal to abandon a boat in Canada’s waters.
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
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