Canada to Support Development of Low-Noise Tankers to Protect Marine Species

Canada Teekay low-noise tankerIllustration. Image Courtesy of Shaah Shahidh on Unsplash

The Canadian government is set to invest up to CAD 30 million (USD 22.5 million) to support the development of a new vessel design that will be quieter and more environmentally-friendly than contemporary vessels.

The government is working toward an agreement in principle with Vancouver-based Teekay Shipping under which the world’s first low-noise and low-emissions tanker would be developed.

The crude oil tanker is to be equipped with the latest proven quiet technologies and powered by Canadian LNG.

To limit emissions and ensure the best outcome for marine life, the government said the vessel would have specific design targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent and reduce noise by up to 90 per cent, compared to conventional tankers.

Canada’s investment in the project is facilitated through the Quiet Vessel Initiative which aims to reduce underwater noise to protect marine species, including the Southern Resident killer whale, impacted by underwater vessel noise. The government said that acoustic disturbances can reduce their ability to find prey, effectively navigate, and communicate with each other, while also creating stress.

“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,” Marc Garneau, Canadian Minister of Transport, commented.

“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.”

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