Share this page


Derelict Vessels Advocacy

For coastal communities, abandoned and derelict vessels are a significant concern for economic, aesthetic, environmental, and safety reasons. The Islands Trust advocates to the Province of British Columbia and the federal government for lasting solutions and funding for vessel removal.

Abandoned Boats, Barges, Buoys, and Docks: Frequently Asked Questions

Although most owners dispose of their vessels or infrastructure responsibly, abandoned boats, barges, buoys, and broken-up docks are still a common problem in the Islands Trust Area. To help the public know what to do with this form of water-based debris, we've developed a Frequent Asked Questions leaflet that covers the most common questions received by trustees and staff.

Do you know about an abandoned boat that should be removed?

In 2018-2019, Islands Trust is creating an inventory of abandoned, derelict boats in the Islands Trust area for agencies applying for funding from Transport Canada’s new Abandoned Boats Program. Additional details on the Abandoned Boats Program are available in this presentation. As a land use planning agency, Islands Trust will not be removing boats. Removal of derelict vessels falls under multiple jurisdictions and requires coordinated efforts. That is why we are seeking your support to participate in a multi-agency response to derelict vessels in our region.

Islands Trust wants to hear from you!

Please contact us at with "derelict vessel inventory" in the subject heading and include as much detail as possible (colour, size, location coordinates and description, photographs) on the abandoned boat.

If you'd rather write into us, please download and complete this form and mail to:

Islands Trust
200 - 1627 Fort Street
Victoria, B.C., V8R 1H8

Previous Advocacy

In 2017:

Chair sent a letter to the Minister of Transport Canada thanking him for the Abandoned Boats Program and support for Transport Canada’s Bill C-64 and MP Sheila Malcolmson’s Bill C-352 that will provide a national strategy for dealing with abandoned vessels.  

In 2014:

Through participation in the Joint Working Group for the Removal of Problem Vessels in BC, Islands Trust staff supported the development of provincial guides about problem vessels. The guides are available on the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations' Problem Vessel webpage.

Islands Trust trustees and staff also supported a 2014 Transport Canada Inventory of Vessels of Concern in British Columbia. This report includes information about the number of vessels and removal, salvage and disposal options.

The Chair sent a letter to the federal Minister of Transport and the provincial Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations about finding solutions to derelict vessels. The Chair also wrote to partner local governments encouraging them to also advocate to the provincial and federal governments for the timely development of long-term solutions to derelict vessel issues.

In 2013:

  • The Chair sent a letter with comments on the draft provincial Practical Manual for Addressing Problem Vessels and Floating Structures.
  • The Chair sent a letter to BC Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations providing a derelict vessel advocacy update. The Minister responded in November.
  • Islands Trust and Bowen Island Municipality proposed a derelict vessel session at the UBCM Convention. The Chair provided a presentation at the clinic session.
  • Islands Trust proposed the following resolution, which was endorsed by the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities Convention in April 2013 and the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) in September 2013:

WHEREAS the UBCM previously endorsed resolutions in 2005, 2010, and 2012 proposing constructive solutions and encouraging the federal and provincial governments to take action on the issue of derelict and abandoned vessels;

AND WHEREAS the issue continues to be of significant concern to coastal communities for economic, aesthetic, environmental and safety reasons:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the UBCM again petition the provincial and federal governments to increase their efforts to work together to create a permanent solution to the issue of abandoned and derelict vessels that includes sustainable funding sources.

 In 2012:

  • Islands Trust staff responded to a Transport Canada survey on derelict vessels using information provided by Islands Trust elected officials and community members.
  • The Chair sent a letter to the President of the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities re-committing Islands Trust staff to the Joint Working Group for the Removal of Derelict Vessels in BC and proposing a project for the working group.(Response)

In 2011:

  • The Chair sent a letter to three local government partners providing a derelict vessel advocacy update.
  • The Executive Committee discussed derelict vessel issues at a meeting with the BC Minister of Environment.
  • The Chair wrote to the federal Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, regarding support for derelict vessels bill (Bill C-231)
  • The Executive Committee and partners met with the BC Minister of Natural Resource Operations at the UBCM convention to talk about derelict vessels and docks. Following this meeting, the Minister wrote to the federal Minister of Transportation about the issue.

In 2010:

  • The Islands Trust worked with three other local governments and the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities (AVICC) to develop a joint resolution on derelict and abandoned vessels, barges and docks, which was endorsed by the UBCM.
  • The same partners also organized a Finding Solutions for Management of Derelict Vessels workshop at the UBCM 2010 Convention which focused on resolving the derelict vessel problem and possible changes to provincial and federal legislation and policy. The Chair of Islands Trust Council opened the session with a presentation that gave examples of stray barges and other vessels.
  • At the UBCM Convention, the Islands Trust Executive Committee also met with the BC Minister of Forests, Mines and Lands to discuss derelict vessel issues and followed up with a letter to him and with a letter to the new responsible Minister.

Islands Trust advocacy about derelict and abandoned vessels is supported by the Islands Trust Policy Statement policy 3.1.9 and the Islands Trust Council 2011-14 Strategic Plan  which includes "Continue to advocate to senior government solutions to derelict vessels".

Useful Links:


Page last updated: 17/09/19
© Islands Trust. All Rights Reserved.