A Step Towards Quieter Oceans: The Port of Vancouver Launches an Industry-Leading Incentive Program to Help Reduce Underwater Noise

On January 1st, 2017, The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority announced a new incentive program, aimed to lessen the impacts of underwater vessel noise on cetaceans. 

The Port of Vancouver is the largest port in Canada and the third largest port in North America, making the surrounding waters a hotspot for large cargo vessels and cruise ships.  Research has shown that underwater noise from shipping traffic can adversely impact marine mammals, disrupting communication and foraging behaviour.  In order to mitigate the impacts of underwater noise caused by shipping, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority has launched an innovative noise-reduction incentive program. This program recognizes three innovative propeller technologies shown to reduce underwater noise, and provides discounts on harbour due rates for quieter ships. 

This new underwater noise reduction incentive has been incorporated in to the Port’s existing EcoAction Program, which was launched in 2007.  The EcoAction Program awards marine cargo and cruise vessels with discounts on harbour fees for choosing environmentally friendly fuel and technologies that lessen their impact on marine mammals.

Canada is the first country in the world with a marine noise reduction incentive.  The hope is that the EcoAction Program will set a new industry standard for other ports worldwide and will improve environmental performance within the shipping industry, resulting in quieter, cleaner oceans for all to enjoy.


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