Whether you’re looking at current oil tanker traffic associated with the Trans Mountain Pipeline or increased activity with the Expansion Project, it’s a very small portion of all vessel movement in the Salish Sea.

Other vessels contribute substantially to the overall number of marine trips in the Salish Sea, an area encompassing the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the Strait of Georgia and Puget Sound.

As Trans Mountain noted in its 2013 Application to the National Energy Board, traffic in the British Columbia South Coast region includes international cargo vessels such as container and tanker ships, tugs, cruise ships, recreational boats, government vessels and warships, commercial passenger ferries, service vessels and commercial fishing boats.

To put Trans Mountain traffic in perspective, here are numbers reflecting some of the typical vessel movements in the Salish Sea.


In 2018, 53 oceangoing oil tankers called at Westridge Marine Terminal — making 106 vessel trips in and out of the Salish Sea. These tankers were either carrying export crude oil to world markets or importing jet fuel for planes at Vancouver International Airport.


After expansion, for export crude oil alone, Westridge is expected to generate 816 trips a year as 408 oceangoing Aframax tankers travel to and from the facility.


According to the BC Chamber of Shipping, each year, large international cargo vessels arriving and departing BC south coast and Puget Sound ports account for about 11,000 Salish Sea trips.


In 2017 alone, there were 316,388 ferry trips supporting BC and Washington travellers in the Salish Sea. This shows the fundamental importance of marine transportation to the people of this region.