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Research Project

Assessing Shipping Risk in Canada

In This Report, You’ll Learn About

  • Marine shipping risk in Canadian and transboundary waters
  • The types of vessels involved in maritime incidents and accidents in and around Canadian waters
  • How the rate of maritime incidents and accidents varies by ship type and region
  • The rates of maritime incidents and accidents that have occurred on Canada’s Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic coasts, as well as in the Great Lakes, with a spotlight on two busy sub-regions: the Salish Sea and the St. Lawrence Seaway

Project Summary

Clear Seas conducted this analysis to contextualize the number of commercial vessels, ferries and cruise ships involved in marine incidents and accidents that have occurred in and around Canadian waters. The rates of occurrences of such events were calculated by comparing data from Clear Seas’ Marine Incidents and Accidents Dashboard with vessel traffic volumes. The result is a balanced picture of risk from different vessel types involved in incidents, accidents, and serious marine accidents in Canadian and transboundary waters.

The Assessing Shipping Risk in Canada report builds on previous work published by Clear Seas, including the Maritime Commercial Incidents and Accidents project (2021) and the Commercial Marine Shipping Accidents: Understanding the Risks in Canada report (2016). This analysis helps inform the conversation around shipping risk in Canada and adds important context to the number of reported marine incidents and accidents, enabling risk management that learns from history.

Key Takeaway

This project provides important context to help enhance the understanding of the risks related to marine shipping in Canadian and transboundary waters. By emphasizing the variations in rates and vessel types involved in marine incidents and accidents across different regions, this analysis allows for a more accurate characterization of the safety of marine shipping in Canada.

Presentation of Results

Watch the research team introduce the study and discuss some of the preliminary findings of the analysis in a presentation to the Salish Sea Transboundary Working Group, hosted by the Canadian Marine Shipping Risk Forum.

Watch the video | Download the presentation

Explore the Marine Incidents and Accidents Dashboard

The Marine Incidents and Accidents Dashboard is an interactive web-based map that displays publicly available information to gain insight into the safety of marine shipping. Clear Seas provides a more complete understanding of the marine incidents and accidents that have occurred in, or close to, Canadian waters by harmonizing 10 years of marine occurrence data from Canadian and American sources into this dashboard. Intended to help policymakers and the public better understand the risks involved with commercial marine shipping activities across Canada, it is a dynamic tool that can be updated as new data becomes available.

Research Team

Clear Seas team member Tessa Coulthard

Tessa Coulthard

Research Lead, Clear Seas

Clear Seas team member Jennifer Steele

Jennifer Steele

Director of Research Operations (on leave), Clear Seas