Managing the impact of underwater ship noise on marine life

The Shipping Federation of Canada says several initiatives are currently underway on both the east and west coats of Canada to better understand and manage the impact of ship noise on marine life.

This is an important issue, as acoustic disturbances (along with vessel strikes) have been identified as key threats to the recovery of several species at risk in Canadian waters (e.g. the north Atlantic right whale in the Bay of Fundy area and along the Gaspé Peninsula, the beluga in the St. Lawrence River, and the killer whale on the West Coast).

The Federation has been working on these subjects for a number of years, and was a partner in producing the Mariner’s Guide to Whales in the Northwest Atlantic and an active player in the discussions on the implementation of voluntary speed reduction measures to reduce the risks of collisions with belugas in the Laurentian Channel.

In addition, several member companies have been contributing to the efforts of Green Marine (an environmental certification program for the North American marine industry) to develop a new environmental performance indicator related to the management of vessel underwater noise.

The Federation also expects to work with the Port of Vancouver on this issue as part of the Port’s ECHO program in the coming months.

Source: Shipping Federation of Canada

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