Nova Scotia

Boat moorings under scrutiny in Halifax waters

People who attach their boats to moorings in the Halifax area are getting tagged by the Halifax Port Authority and it has many of them puzzled.

People who attach their boats to moorings in the Halifax area are getting tagged by the Halifax Port Authority and it has many boat owners puzzled.

Moorings are the ropes, anchors, etc., used in securing or stabilizing a vessel in the water.

There are dozens of moorings in the waters of the Northwest Arm and Purcell's Cove and now all of them are being given tags.

Boat owner Pam Upham said she was surprised to find a Halifax Port Authority tag on her boat's mooring. (CBC)
Pam Upham and her husband received one a few days ago, asking them to contact the Port Authority, regarding the mooring inventory program.

"Initially we were a little concerned and puzzled, number one because we couldn't see any other boats in the area that had the tags on them and [my husband] did call a couple of friends and they hadn't received them, so of course first we're wondering 'are we being targeted?' and really what was the reason for it?"

The Halifax Port Authority said the Uphams weren't targeted. It wants to keep track of everyone who has moorings within the harbour limits.

It's not just personal moorings that are included in the inventory.

Tags were discovered Thursday morning on boats at the Armdale Yacht Club, which already has a registered mooring field.

"People are asking 'What's this all about? Am I in trouble? How come I've got to call the Port Authority? I thought everything was good,'" said Jim Harris, the yard foreman for Armdale Yacht Club.

The Halifax Port Authority insists that it's just making sure all mooring listings are up to date, but some of those receiving notices are concerned it could lead to a more regulated and costly system.

"I think it would be an issue though if it's another money grab. We pay plenty in taxes. So I guess I'd be concerned if all of a sudden they wanted to start charging us," said Upham.

Michelle Peveril, who speaks for the Halifax Port Authority, said that's not being looked at right now.

Moorings within the Halifax harbour are being tagged so the Port Authority can update its list of registered moorings. (CBC)
"Really this process is to inventory them ... then work with the boating community and the boating clubs directly to know what's out there and to know what's safe to approve in the context of what's already established."

The Port Authority will be collecting information on moorings until early September and will keep working with boat owners to determine whom any unclaimed moorings belong to, said Peveril.