Port of Vancouver adds noise prevention to ships eco-incentives program

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority has launched an industry-leading incentive program for marine vessels operating in the Port of Vancouver, aimed at addressing concerns about underwater vessel noise affecting at-risk marine life.

On January 1, 2017, the port authority added new incentive criteria to its existing EcoAction program to include harbour due rate discounts for quieter ships. This makes Canada the first country in the world with a marine noise reduction incentive.

Since 2007, the port authority’s EcoAction program has recognized a variety of fuel, technology and environmental management options that make ship operators eligible to receive discounted harbour due rates. The new criteria includes three quiet-vessel ship classifications and three propeller technologies shown to reduce underwater noise. The program applies only to cargo and cruise vessels calling on the Port of Vancouver, which includes Burrard Inlet, the Fraser River and Roberts Bank terminals.

The new noise reduction incentive is one outcome of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority-led ECHO program, which launched in 2014 with the goal to better understand and reduce the cumulative impacts of commercial vessel activities on at-risk whales throughout the southern coast of British Columbia. The program is a collaborative research initiative involving marine transportation industries, conservation and environmental groups, First Nations individuals, government and scientists.

“Adding underwater noise reduction criteria to our EcoAction program is an exciting next step towards our long-term goal of reducing the impacts of shipping activities on at-risk whales,” said Duncan Wilson, vice president of corporate social responsibility at the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority.

Source: Vancouver Fraser Port Authority

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