The Government of Canada and the Council of the Haida Nation have launched a 14-month trial Voluntary Protection Zone for Shipping, effective September 1, 2020. The Voluntary Protection Zone is part of the Proactive Vessel Management initiative under Canada’s Oceans Protection Plan. The trial is the result of a partnership between the Government of Canada and the Haida Nation, and in significant collaboration with Canadian and US shipping industry associations. All parties have agreed that vessels of 500 gross tonnage or greater transiting along the west coast of Haida Gwaii will observe a minimum distance of 50 nautical miles (nm) from shore, with the following exceptions:
- Cruise vessels, who are asked to observe a minimum 12 nm distance from shore;
- Vessels transiting between Pacific Northwest ports (Washington, British Columbia, and Alaska), who are asked to observe a minimum 25 nm distance from shore;
- Tugs and barges (includes pushing and towing alongside) and fishing vessels are fully exempt.