Canadian Vancouver Fraser Port Authority has launched an 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 harbor due rate discounts for quieter ships. With this move, Canada has become the first country in the world with a marine noise reduction incentive, according to the port authority.
“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,” Duncan Wilson, vice president of corporate social responsibility at the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, said.
The program applies only to cargo and cruise vessels calling at the Port of Vancouver, which includes Burrard Inlet, the Fraser River and Roberts Bank terminals.
Since 2007, the program has recognized a variety of cleaner fuels and technologies focused on reducing ship impacts on air quality and climate change. Ship operators which implemented emission reduction measures and other environmental practices have been offered discounted harbor due rates.
The new noise reduction incentive is one outcome of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority-led Enhancing Cetacean Habitat and Observation (ECHO) program, launched in 2014 with the goal to better understand and reduce the impacts of commercial vessel activities on at-risk whales throughout the southern coast of British Columbia, the port authority added.