Canadians expect clean and safe waterways, and efficient response to marine hazards is a priority for the Government of Canada. Abandoned, wrecked or hazardous vessels can threaten marine environments, local communities and economies. The Canadian Coast Guard is taking action to address these vessels across the country through innovative technology.

The Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Joyce Murray, recently announced that the Canadian Coast Guard has purchased BRNKL Rapid Deploy units from Barnacle Systems Inc. Through a partnership with Innovative Solutions Canada, 39 of these remote monitoring devices are being installed on hazardous vessels across the country.

“The Government of Canada is taking action to eliminate abandoned vessels from our waters. By investing in new technologies, we enhance the Canadian Coast Guard’s capacity to monitor, manage, and address marine risks, leading to greater protection of waterways today and for the future,” said Murray.

These made-in-Canada devices are placed on board a problem vessel and allow the Canadian Coast Guard to monitor a vessel from afar and be notified if it begins to sink, if it is impacted by weather conditions, and more. The device offers the Canadian Coast Guard near real-time status updates and alerts, allowing for faster deployment of marine environmental and hazard response teams to high-priority areas.

Over 2,000 wrecked, abandoned or hazardous vessels have been reported across Canada to date. Through the Oceans Protection Plan, the Government of Canada established a national strategy to address these vessels and prevent the occurrence of new ones. Since 2016, almost 500 projects to remove and dispose of abandoned boats across Canada have been funded through the Plan.

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The Canadian Coast Guard has acquired 39 BRNKL Rapid Deploy Barnacle Systems units at a total cost of $513K from Barnacle Systems Inc. through Innovative Solutions Canada. The devices have been distributed to Canadian Coast Guard teams across Canada.

The Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels Act became law in 2019 and helps protect the environment while reducing the burden on taxpayers. The Act strengthens owner responsibility and liability for vessels; makes it illegal to abandon a boat; and gives the federal government more powers to take action against problem vessels before they can pose even greater problems at greater costs.

Featured image credits: Barnacle Systems Inc.

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