Castanet – January 9, 2020
Recently the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard announced that a project would be undertaken on the Fraser River to remove an abandoned 75-year-old, nearly 200-foot-long, former transport vessel.
The reason for the removal is that “there are imminent risks of pollution threat, hull corrosion, possible sinking and fire.”
The cost of this project is estimated to be $3.3 million – which may or may not be recoverable from the vessel’s owners, assuming they can be identified.
That the federal government is taking action against derelict and abandoned vessels will certainly be welcome news in many areas that have experienced firsthand the adverse environmental impact of this problem.
My issue is not with this project itself, but rather the importance of being proactive.
Here in the Okanagan, we face the very serious threat of aquatic invasive freshwater mussels. These mussels can clog water intakes, causing serious damage to irrigation infrastructure as well as domestic and civic water systems.