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Regulations Changed to Make Voisey's Bay a Compulsory Area

April 2008

In April 2008, the Atlantic Pilotage Authority (APA) created a compulsory pilotage area in the water approaches to Voisey's Bay, Labrador (the principal port is Edwards Cove in Anaktalak Bay). Voisey's Bay becomes the seventeenth compulsory pilotage area for the APA. The APA has been monitoring the development of the Voisey's Bay nickel mine since the late 1990's. In 2004, the Authority commissioned a risk assessment using the Pilotage Risk Management Methodology (PRMM) in order to assess whether pilotage in this area should become compulsory.

Upon review of the PRMM, the Board of the Authority determined that the area would require compulsory pilotage. Since the decision to make the area compulsory, the Authority has been working with the stakeholders in the area to determine the logistics required to provide pilotage service in this remote location. After several consultations, it was determined that the best course of action would be to have a compulsory pilotage corridor along the southern surveyed approach channel leading into Edwards Cove. Furthermore, it was determined that, for the inner zone (Zone B), which begins in the vicinity of the east side of Kugyautak Island and extends to Edwards Cove, all ships that are currently subject to compulsory pilotage under the Atlantic Pilotage Authority Regulations would also be subject to compulsory pilotage in that zone. However, in the outer zone (Zone A), ships that are less than 15 000 gross tons would not be subject to compulsory pilotage. This arrangement would mean that the majority, if not all, of the ships that have been provisioning the communities north of Edwards Cove for many years would not be subject to compulsory pilotage.

Due to the remote location of this new compulsory pilotage area, it will be necessary for pilots to board at the ships' point of origin or some other accessible area. It is not anticipated that pilot boat service will be available in this compulsory pilotage area.

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