The Port of Vancouver has launched a series of project under its ‘ECHO Program’ with the aim to provide a better understanding of vessel-related cumulative regional threats such as vessel underwater noise and its effects to marine environment.
Port’s ECHO Program has convened an acoustics technical committee to offer expert advice on specific project approaches, goals and objectives related to underwater noise. The port says this initiative is part of its commitment ensuring operations remain environmentally responsible and sustainable, as well as safeguarding and promoting the protection of local wildlife.
Projects currently underway relating to underwater noise include:
- monitoring a vessel underwater noise listening station in the Strait of Georgia, in partnership with Transport Canada, Ocean Networks Canada and JASCO Applied Sciences, where ships “weigh in” as they transit over the station providing a better understanding of the noise levels coming from different vessels
- monitoring baseline regional ambient underwater noise conditions through a network of hydrophones
- identifying and quantifying the underwater noise contributions from various vessel sectors to overall regional ocean noise
- presenting the impacts of underwater noise on marine mammals to local mariners through an education outreach program
- conducting an investigation of the effects of ship noise on vocal behaviour of humpback whales
The aim of these projects is to inform potential mitigation options and develop innovative solutions to reduce underwater noise in the region. Mitigation measures may include such things as incentives or recognition for the use of green vessel technology, changes to operational activities of ocean going vessels, a certification program for quiet vessels, and/or the development of noise criteria for vessels entering the port.
Explore more about Port’s ECHO Program by clicking here