Supporters of controversial sunken B.C. ship bouyed by fishy visitors

HCMS Annapolis moored at Howe sound (credit: CP).

VANCOUVER — Officials with the Artificial Reef Society of B.C. say the sea floor is adapting well six months after the sinking of a decommissioned Canadian warship in Howe Sound, north of Vancouver.

HMCS Annapolis went down amid controversy in Halkett Bay off Gambier Island in April, ending years of legal battles from critics who argued paint on the ship's hull contained toxic chemicals.

Howard Robbins, the president of the artificial reef society, says those worries appear unfounded and the ship is living up to its environmental goal.

Rockfish stocks have been declining in Georgia Strait, but Robbins says some of the small, spiny fish have already been spotted nosing around the Annapolis.

He says the old ship is also becoming increasingly popular with divers, closing the loop on a circle route for scuba fans that includes the HMCS Chaudiere in Sechelt Inlet, and several ships near Nanaimo.

In all, the artificial reef society has sunk seven vessels in B.C. waters. (CKAY)

The Canadian Press

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