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Marine Piloting

The BC Coast Pilots Ltd.

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The province of British Columbia, Canada, is home to one of the most pristine and ecologically sensitive marine habitats in North America. Over 15,000 miles of undulating coastline shelter unspoiled waters that are teaming with marine life such as seals and sea lions, orca, humpback, minke and Pacific grey whales, as well as hundreds of species of fish, shellfish, and other organisms. These all converge on the British Columbia coastline, providing an unmatched opportunity to observe marine life in its natural habitat. This same coastline, however, is also a vibrant commercial waterway for large ships travelling to and from major world ports. How do these commercial interests co-exist with the preservation of the marine habitat? The answer is through the role of the licensed marine Pilot.

Under Canadian law every foreign ship over 350 gross registered tons is required to utilize the services of a marine pilot when they enter the waters of British Columbia. The Pilot is responsible to ensure the vessel is safely navigated through the various passageways along the coast so there is no damage to the ship, its crew, or the marine environment. In British Columbia there are two groups of marine pilots which supply this service; the BC Coast Pilots and the Fraser River Pilots. The Fraser River Pilots are responsible for the area beginning at the mouth of the Fraser River and inland, while the BC Coast Pilots are responsible for the entire coastline stretching from the southern Canadian border to Alaska. Browse through our website to learn more about the role of the BC Coast Pilots Ltd.

Map of British Columbia Coastline
British Columbia has over 15,000 miles of coastline and over 30 shipping ports.
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