Underwater noise has a number of impacts on marine life. Understanding those impacts and how to best mitigate them is essential to protecting endangered species such as southern resident killer whales.
Recent research by the Enhancing Cetacean Habitat and Observation (ECHO) Program, an initiative led by the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, shows that voluntary measures such as vessel slowdowns can greatly reduce underwater noise and benefit whales’ ability to hunt, navigate and communicate with one another.
From July 1 to October 31, Neptune Terminals participated in ECHO’s voluntary vessel slowdown in the Haro Strait. Overall, 93 per cent of bulk carriers going to or from participated in the voluntary slowdown, well above the industry average of 84 per cent.
Jeff Crawford, Neptune’s Director of Marine Logistics, says “Neptune and our Canadian shareholder companies take seriously the responsibility to deliver Canadian goods safely and responsibly from mine to customer. Shipping is a big piece of our supply chain, and we are proud to take part in the ECHO program.”
“Industry’s commitment to this voluntary research trial is a clear demonstration of the collective focus we have on ensuring a healthy marine environment, and we greatly appreciate our partners’ support,” said Robin Silvester, president and chief executive officer of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority.
To learn more about this initiative or the many other aspects of ECHO aimed at better understanding and managing the impacts of shipping activities on at-risk whales visit the Port of Vancouver.