Transport Canada has announced $1.6 million in measures to support the recovery of endangered whale populations. The government agency will be working with multiple partners within the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s Enhancing Cetacean Habitat and Observation (ECHO) program, which is investigating ways to reduce underwater noise in key areas frequented by southern resident killer whales in the Salish Sea.
October 22’s announcement follows last June’s Whales Initiative launch when the Canadian government announced a $167.4-million envelope to increase Transport Canada’s research and monitoring of underwater noise and vessel movement.
The new measures will include the deployment of an underwater hydrophone at Boundary Pass in the Salish Sea. Over the coming months, the hydrophone will collect the noise profiles of individual vessels and underwater mammals. The data will be used to develop measures to further support the recovery of the southern resident killer whales. With support from the National Research Council of Canada, Transport Canada will also carry out a four-year project to better predict a vessel’s hull vibration and propeller noise.