Ship strikes, vessel disturbances and underwater noise are key threats faced by whales, dolphins and porpoises off British Columbia’s coast. A new guide for mariners — produced by the Vancouver Aquarium’s Coastal Ocean Research Institute in partnership with the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority and the Prince Rupert Port Authority — is intended to inform mariners about the risk of collisions between vessels and marine life, and to help minimize vessel disturbances.
The purpose of the Mariner’s Guide to Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises of Western Canada is to raise awareness among large vessel mariners and to provide information that will help mitigate vessel impacts on cetaceans along the B.C. coast, including strikes, disturbance, noise, and air pollution. The guide will also help vessel crew members to identify key cetacean and sea turtle species, understand the threats their vessels pose, and take action to minimize those threats.
The guide was inspired and templated by A Mariner’s Guide to Whales in the Northwest Atlantic, which the Réseau d’observation de mammifères marins (ROMM) and the Shipping Federation of Canada released in 2014.