The Government of Canada is investing in new technologies that will help reduce underwater noise from vessels on Canada’s waters, in answer to concerns that underwater noise can negatively impact the marine environment and vulnerable marine mammals— including species like the endangered Southern Resident killer whales.
Canada’s Minister of Transport, the Hon Omar Alghabra, has announced grants amounting to more than Can$ 3.1m for 22 projects to help reduce the impact of underwater vessel noise. These projects include:
- Workshops to identify safe and practical approaches to reducing underwater noise;
- developing a tool available to all members of the marine industry to predict and implement effective quiet designs into new vessel being built;
- developing new, real-time tools to track underwater noise released by marine vessels; and
- developing a tool to detect marine mammals and alert nearby vessels.
Projects are funded through Transport Canada’s Quiet Vessel Initiative, which was announced on June 30, 2021 and is developed to address the concerns of Indigenous communities. It builds on previous actions and as part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to keep marine mammals safe, the Quiet Vessels Initiative will help protect the marine environment more than ever before.
Alghabra said: “Our government is committed to keeping our marine ecosystems safe, and this investment will help do just that. The Quiet Vessel Initiative will advance new technologies to help reduce the impacts of noise caused by humans on marine mammals, like the vulnerable Southern Resident killer whale. Together with industry and academia, we will continue to take concrete steps to protect our endangered marine mammals and keep our waters safe.”
Projects funded through the Quiet Vessel Initiative will help generate the technical evidence needed to support Canada’s noise management measures in the Salish Sea and elsewhere in Canada. They will also provide guidance to industry, academia, and the IMO to influence future vessel design standards and adoption.