Canada announced additional measures Nov. 29 to assist in the recovery of endangered whale populations. A contract for approximately $9.5 million will be awarded to a Canadian firm to deploy an underwater listening station in the southern resident killer whale’s critical habitat at Boundary Pass between British Columbia’s southernmost islands and the Washington State’s coastal waters.
The contract is in addition to the $167.4 million Whales Initiative announced last June to enhance Transport Canada’s research and monitoring of underwater noise and vessel movement. The underwater listening station will use hydrophones to detect and measure vessel and ambient noise in the shipping lanes to and from Canada’s busiest port (Vancouver, B.C.). The gathered data will be used to improve the efforts being made to reduce underwater noise and its impacts on whales.
“By increasing access to food, reducing vessel noise, and addressing key contaminants of concern, the Government of Canada is taking action to protect and to enable the recovery of the southern resident killer whale,” stated Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fishers, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.