ECHO Program nominated for Lloyds List Environmental Award
The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority led ECHO Program, a research initiative aimed at better understanding and managing the impact of shipping activities on at-risk whales, has been selected as a finalist for the Environment Award category of the Lloyd’s List America Awards. This award honours the institution, company or individual that has done the most to reduce the pollution of the marine environment in the Americas from maritime sources.
In 2017 the ECHO program conducted a voluntary slow down trial, the first of its kind, to study the relationship between slower vessel speeds, underwater noise levels and effects on southern resident killer whales. Between August 7 and October 6, 2017, the speed of participating vessels was reduced through the water in Haro Strait, an important summer feeding area for endangered southern resident killer whales located between Vancouver Island’s Saanich Peninsula and San Juan Island. Vessels were asked to navigate over underwater listening stations, also known as hydrophones, at a speed of 11 knots, which is slower than typical deep-sea vessel operating speeds. The hydrophones monitored ambient and vessel underwater noise, as well as the presence of whales. Industry participation was positive as 67 organizations voluntarily took part. Results of the research will be released in 2018.
Congratulations to the finalists in all categories. We look forward to hearing the results when winners are announced in Houston on May 23, 2018.