ECHO Program partners and advisors

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s vision is to be the world’s most sustainable port and the organization is championing coordinated management approaches toward achieving that vision. Mutual understanding of interests is important to constructively work together to resolve shared challenges and to develop a sustainable port.

The port authority-led ECHO Program aims to engage and involve key regional interested parties to maximize the program’s success and help ensure that mitigation and management measures developed through the program are informed by cultural, economic and environmental sustainability interests.

The ECHO Program is guided by the advice and input of an advisory working group and associated technical committees. The guidance provided by these volunteer advisors greatly assists the ECHO Program management team in deciding which scientific studies, educational initiatives and other projects should be advanced to best meet program objectives.

We appreciate the support, engagement and efforts of our advisors, collaborators and research participants whose efforts are helping to reduce effects of marine shipping on endangered whales.

Funding partners and in-kind contributors

Vancouver Fraser Port Authority

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fraser River Pile and Dredge

JASCO Applied Sciences

Oceans Networks Canada

Trans Mountain Corporation

Transport Canada

Tsleil-Waututh Nation

University of Victoria

Vancouver Aquarium

Advisory working group

BC Coast Pilots

BC Ferries

Canadian Coast Guard

Chamber of Shipping

Council of Marine Carriers

Cruise Lines International Association -North West & Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Indigenous individuals

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Ocean Wise

Pacific Pilotage Authority

Royal Canadian Navy

Shipping Federation of Canada

Transport Canada

Vancouver Fraser Port Authority

Washington State Ferries

WWF-Canada

Vessel operators committee

BC Coast Pilots

BC Ferries

Canadian Coast Guard

Chamber of Shipping

Council of Marine Carriers

Cruise Lines International Association – North West & Canada

Hapag-Lloyd (Canada) Inc.

Holland America Group

Marine Exchange of Puget Sound

Pacific Merchant Shipping Association

Pacific Northwest Ship & Cargo Services

Pacific Pilotage Authority

Royal Canadian Navy

Shipping Federation of Canada

Transport Canada

U.S. Coast Guard

Vancouver Fraser Port Authority

Washington State Ferries

Acoustic technical committee

BC Ferries

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

DHI Group Inc.

DW Ship Consult

JASCO Applied Sciences

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Oceans Networks Canada

Ocean Wise – Coastal Ocean Research Institute (CORI)

Royal Canadian Navy

Robert Allan Naval Architects

Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU) Consulting Canada

Transport Canada

University of British Columbia

University of St. Andrews

University of Victoria

Washington State Department of Transportation

Other program or project collaborators

Achieve QUieter Oceans (AQUO)

American Waterways Operators

Green Marine

Nanaimo Port Authority

Port of Seattle

Port of Tacoma

Prince Rupert Port Authority

Puget Sound Pilots

Saturna Island Marine Research and Education Society

Scripps Institute of Oceanography

Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU) Consulting Canada

The Whale Museum

University of Victoria NEMES Project (Noise Exposure to the Marine Environment from Ships)

Alignment with Government of Canada recovery strategies

Since the announcement of the government’s Ocean Protection Plan in 2016 and Whales Initiative in 2018, the ECHO Program and its advisors have been working in parallel with, and engaging more actively, in the Government of Canada’s process to ensure our collective research and mitigation efforts are aligned.

The Government of Canada’s recovery strategies for at-risk whales in the region include:

Visit the Fisheries and Oceans Canada Species at Risk Act: recovery strategies for a full list of their recovery strategies.

The ECHO Program has structured its focus areas based on three of the four current threat categories identified in the Fisheries and Oceans Canada Recovery Strategy for Northern and Southern Killer Whales and advances projects in each category aimed at informing the development of measures to reduce threats to whales from marine shipping. For more information on ECHO Program projects, see our projects and initiatives page.

Conservation agreement

In May 2019, the Government of Canada entered into a first-of-its-kind Species at Risk Act, Section 11 conservation agreement with Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, Pacific Pilotage Authority and five marine transportation industry partners to support the recovery of the southern resident killer whales.

The agreement formalizes the role of the ECHO Program and the participation of the marine industry and government to continue working collaboratively over a five-year term, with a focus on reducing acoustic and physical disturbance of large commercial ships operating in southern resident killer whale critical habitat. This agreement complements the other commitments of the ECHO Program and the program team continues to work collaboratively with our partners and advisors.

The signed conservation agreement is publicly available on the Species at Risk Act public registry.