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Haro Strait and Boundary Pass slowdowns for whales may begin as early as June 1st

May 29, 2020

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s ECHO Program promotes voluntary slowdowns in Haro Straight and Boundary Pass to significantly reduce underwater noise from vessels. Research shows that reduced noise makes it easier for the endangered Southern resident killer whales to forage. Marine mammal observers and hydrophones will begin monitoring the slowdown area on June 1st. As in  past years, the slowdown will officially begin once the whales are confirmed to be in the area. Participants will be notified by email when the slowdown is activated. Ships traversing Haro Strait and Boundary Pass — both key foraging areas for the Southern resident killer whales — are asked to slow down to the recommended speed target for their vessel type:

  • 14.5 knots or less through the water for vehicle carriers, cruise ships and container vessels
  • 11.5 knots or less through the water for bulkers, tankers, ferries and government vessels

The slowdown will continue until October 1st. If whales remain in the area, the slowdown may be extended to October 31st at the latest.