Canada recognizes that marine species, including the Southern Resident killer whale, are affected by underwater vessel noise. Acoustic disturbances can reduce their ability to find prey, effectively navigate, and communicate with each other, while also creating stress.

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For this reason, the Government is taking action, through the Quiet Vessel Initiative, aiming to reduce underwater noise, protect the marine environment and adopt the development of new technology, quiet vessel designs, and operational practices to decrease underwater noise.

Namely, Canada is committing to invest up to $30 million to support the development of the world’s first low-noise and low-emissions tanker, working toward an Agreement in Principle with Vancouver-based Teekay Shipping (Canada) Ltd. Working with Teekay provides access to private sector expertise and capital to deploy new technologies on low-emission and low-noise crude oil tankers operating in Canadian waters.

This low-emission and low-noise crude oil tanker will be equipped with the latest proven quiet technologies and powered by Canadian liquefied natural gas. To limit emissions and ensure the best result for marine life, the ship will have specific design targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% and cut noise by up to 90%, in comparison to conventional tankers.

The agreement in principle with Teekay aligns with Canada’s promise to collaborate with the shipping industry to develop and deploy the best available technologies and practices.

Our Government takes the protection of endangered marine species very seriously. This initiative is a unique opportunity to advance low noise technology in a deep sea commercial fleet, and a key component of the long term plan to mitigate the impacts of shipping on the Southern Resident killer whale. This is an important step for Canada’s plan to decrease overall noise in the region as findings are evaluated, shared broadly and applied to other vessels

said Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport.

In addition, Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, added that the protection of the iconic Southern Resident killer whale and biodiversity is a priority for Canada. He added that this announcement will help address noise disturbances and builds on the protection measures Canada already has in place to mitigate the threats these whales are facing.