Projets et initiatives du programme ECHO

Le programme ECHO dirige et supporte un ensemble de projets, d’initiatives éducatives et de programmes de recherches volontaires. Ces projets et ces initiatives sont créés afin de parfaire notre compréhension des effets cumulatifs du commerce maritime sur les baleines, aidant ainsi à mettre sur pied et à tester de potentielles solutions de mitigation.

Sur cette page, vous trouverez des liens vers nos initiatives vedette et un sommaire de tous les projets ECHO.

Nos secteurs de priorité

Les perturbations acoustiques et physiques ainsi que les contaminants environnementaux sont trois des quatre menaces présentées dans la stratégie de rétablissement des baleines menacées de la région de Pêches et Océans Canada.

En 2015, le groupe de travail consultatif du programme ECHO a aidé à identifier les problèmes de bruits sous-marins liés à la circulation maritime, étape déterminante pour en faire un secteur de priorité pour le programme. Le programme ECHO offre également son support à d’autres projets de diminution des menaces qui cherchent à réduire les perturbations physiques et les contaminants environnementaux pour les baleines de la région.

L’abondance de proies est également une autre catégorie clé de menaces pour les baleines menacées. Bien que cette catégorie ne soit pas une priorité pour le programme ECHO, le programme d’amélioration des habitats de l’administration portuaire se concentre sur la création et l’amélioration d’habitat pour les poissons et la vie marine, ce qui pourrait aider à contrer cette menace pour les baleines menacées.

Initiatives en vedette

L'essai de ralentissement volontaire des navires dans le détroit d'Haro et dans le passage Boundary

En 2019, le programme ECHO a assuré la coordination d'un essai de ralentissement volontaire des navires dans le détroit d'Haro et dans le passage Boundary pendant les mois de l'été où les épaulards résidents au sud étaient présents.

Poursuivre la lecture

Essai volontaire de déplacement latéral dans les eaux côtières du détroit de Juan de Fuca

Le programme ECHO et Transports Canada, avec l'appui de partenaires régionaux et internationaux, étudient comment l'éloignement des remorqueurs des aires d'alimentation des baleines affecte le niveau de bruit sous-marins dans ces zones.

Poursuivre la lecture

Plan incitatif pour les navires peu bruyants

Au Port de Vancouver, les navires qui réduisent le bruit sous-marin peuvent demander une diminution de leurs droits de port grâce au programme EcoAction de l'administration portuaire. Les politiques qui incitent à la réduction du bruit venant des navires ont été ajoutées au programme EcoAction de l'administration portuaire en 2017, faisant du Canada le premier pays du monde à encourager les navires moins bruyants.

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Tutoriel Whales in our Waters

Créé pour les marins par le programme ECHO et par les Traversiers de la C-B, en partenariat avec Ocean Wise, le tutoriel Whales in our Waters traite d'une série de sujets, comme la prise de connaissance des espèces locales de baleines, comment les identifier, et les meilleures pratiques à utiliser lors de la navigation en leur présence.

Poursuivre la lecture

Projets par secteur de priorité

La connaissance scientifique de niveau mondiale créée par le programme ECHO et ses partenaires aide l’industrie maritime, l’administration portuaire, le gouvernement du Canada et d’autres organismes régionaux, nationaux et internationaux à mieux comprendre les effets du commerce maritime sur les épaulards résidents au sud et sur d’autres espèces de baleines. Vous trouverez ci-dessous de l’information sur les initiatives du programme ECHO, en cours ou complétées. Lorsque disponible des liens vers les études complétées sont inclus.

Project name Description Status
Voluntary ship slowdown trial in Swiftsure Bank (2020) Between August 1 and October 31, 2020, large commercial ships are asked to slow down when travelling outbound through Swiftsure Bank, to reduce underwater noise levels. Underway

Read more

Voluntary ship slowdown in Haro Strait and Boundary Pass (2020) Large commercial ships are asked to slow down when transiting through Haro Strait and Boundary Pass over the summer months, to reduce underwater noise levels. Underway

Read more

Strait of Juan de Fuca inshore lateral displacement (2020) Between June 1 and October 31, 2020, tugboat operators are requested to move away from known whale feeding areas to reduce underwater noise levels. Underway

Read more

Vessel noise correlations study This project used the ECHO Program database of vessel source levels collected between 2015-2018 to investigate the relationships between publicly available general vessel design characteristics and underwater radiated noise, seeking to understand if certain vessel design characteristics were correlated with louder or quieter vessels. Completed March 2020

Download final report

Haro Strait and Boundary Pass voluntary vessel slowdown trial (2019)

 

In 2019, the ECHO Program coordinated an expanded voluntary vessel slowdown trial in Haro Strait and Boundary Pass over the summer months when whales were present.

The monitoring period began June 1; the slowdown was activated on July 5 when the whales were confirmed as present within the trial area, and ended on October 15, 2019.

Download final report
Inshore lateral displacement trial (2019) The ECHO Program and Transport Canada, supported by regional and international partners studied how moving tugs and barges away from known whale feeding areas affects the underwater noise levels in those areas. This trial began on June 17, 2019 and ended on October 31, 2019. Download final report
Haro Strait voluntary vessel slowdown (2018)

 

In the summer of 2018, the ECHO Program supported an industry-led voluntary speed slowdown for ships transiting Haro Strait over the summer months when whales were present. Read summary of results

Download final report

Strait of Juan de Fuca lateral displacement trial (2018) The ECHO Program and Transport Canada, supported by regional and international partners, led a voluntary trial in 2018 to study how moving ships away from known whale feeding areas would affect the underwater noise levels in those areas. Download final report
Burrard Inlet underwater noise monitoring

 

This one-year project aims to measure the baseline ambient underwater noise conditions and other noise sources of interest through a network of hydrophones placed throughout the Burrard Inlet. The project is led by the ECHO Program in partnership with Transport Canada and Tsleil-Waututh Nation. Project underway

 

Ambient underwater noise evaluation This project identified and evaluated the key factors affecting ambient noise at three hydrophone locations in the Salish Sea monitored by the ECHO Program over a two-year period (2016-2017). To evaluate changes in ambient underwater noise over time or with specific mitigations, it is important to understand how to consider and account for other factors, such as large ship and small boat traffic, currents, water temperature, weather and biological components. Completed December 2019

Read final report here

 

Educational outreach to mariners

 

Since 2014 the ECHO Program has been delivering presentations regionally, nationally and internationally on the issue of vessel-whale interactions and the ECHO Program research findings. The port authority harbour patrol crew supports outreach and educational awareness efforts by boarding vessels calling the port and sharing educational materials from the ECHO Program such as an underwater noise infographic, information on the underwater listening station and the Mariner’s Guide to Whales, Dolphins, Porpoises of Western Canada. View infographic: Effects of vessel underwater noise on whales
Strait of Georgia underwater listening station

 

In partnership with Transport Canada, Ocean Networks Canada and JASCO Applied Sciences, Vancouver Fraser Port Authority installed an underwater listening station in the Strait of Georgia in 2015 to monitor not only underwater noise source levels from ships, but also marine mammal presence and total ambient underwater noise. The Strait of Georgia underwater listening station was maintained and operated for just over two and a half years. Fisheries and Oceans Canada also some provided funding support to this project. Completed December 2018

Read final report here

 

Vessel noise studies with regional partners The ECHO Program and Fisheries and Oceans Canada supported a small boat underwater noise measurement study in Haro Strait to better understand the underwater noise levels of whale watch and other small boats that operate in the Salish Sea near southern resident killer whale summer feeding habitat. This study was conducted in parallel with the 2017 Haro Strait vessel slowdown trial which was measuring underwater noise levels from large piloted commercial ships in Haro Strait. Completed April 2018

Read final report here

 

Haro Strait vessel slowdown trial (2017)

 

Between August 7 and October 6, 2017 the ECHO Program led a first-of-its-kind voluntary vessel slowdown trial in Haro Strait to better understand and measure the level of noise reduction achieved through reduced ship speed. Completed October 2017

Read final report here

Killer whale behavioural response to vessel noise This study sought to better understand how southern resident killer whales are predicted to respond to underwater noise from both large commercial ships and smaller whale watching boats. Completed May 2017

Read final report here

Study of humpback whale calls in the presence of ships This study aimed to better understand the potential effects of ship noise on humpback whale calls in B.C. waters using underwater sound recordings. Completed May 2017

Read final report here

Port authority incentives for underwater noise – Ship quieting options study What makes ships quieter? This study scanned the best options to reduce underwater noise from ships. The study recommended options to be included in the port authority’s EcoAction Program, which incentivizes ship operators to go above and beyond environmental regulations. As of January 1, 2017, ships with quiet classification notations or cavitation reduction technologies calling the Port of Vancouver are eligible for a discount on harbour due fees. Completed January 2017

Read final report here

Regional ocean noise contributors study How do different ships sound and where and how often do they transit in this region? This study identified and quantified the underwater noise contributions from various marine transportation sectors to overall regional ocean noise. Completed January 2017

Read final report here

 

Project name Description Status
WhaleReport Alert System (WRAS)

 

The WhaleReport Alert System mobile app helps to notify select regional commercial ship operators when whales are in their proximity. This one-year pilot project began in October 2018 and was led by the Vancouver Aquarium/Ocean Wise’s BC Cetacean Sightings Network, in collaboration with the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority-led ECHO Program and the Prince Rupert Port Authority. Completed December 2019

See BC Cetacean Sightings Network webpage

 

Whales in our Waters tutorial Developed for mariners by BC Ferries and the ECHO Program in partnership with Ocean Wise, the Whales in our Waters tutorial covers a range of topics to build awareness of local whale species, how to identify them, and best practices to implement when navigating ships in their presence. Tutorial launched February 2019

Register: Whales in our Waters tutorial

Large whale aerial surveys and strike risk assessment Where is the risk of whale vessel strike the greatest? The ECHO Program supported Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s survey of large whale distribution off the southwestern coast of Vancouver Island using aerial surveillance and satellite tagging. The data collected through these surveys led to both a Fisheries and Oceans Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat report and peer reviewed publication titled: Assessing the Risk of Ship Strikes to Humpback and Fin Whales of the West Coast of Vancouver Island. Completed March 2017

See Fisheries and Oceans report

See Nichols et al peer reviewed publication

Mariner’s Guide to Whales, Dolphins, Porpoises of Western Canada In collaboration with the Vancouver Aquarium/Ocean Wise and Prince Rupert Port Authority, the ECHO Program supported the development of the Mariner’s Guide to Whales, Dolphins, Porpoises of Western Canada which helps mariners identify marine mammals, their seasonal usage of areas along the west coast and ways to reduce potential interactions. Completed January 2017

Download here

 

Project name Description Status
Ocean Wise PollutionTracker project

 

Since 2016, the ECHO Program has been supporting PollutionTracker, a Vancouver Aquarium/Ocean Wise initiative, to collect and analyze samples of sediment and mussels to establish baseline levels of environmental contamination and inform best practices in and around the water. Completed December 2019

See PollutionTracker webpage

 

Management of contaminants during underwater hull cleaning In partnership with Transport Canada, the objectives of this project was to validate a new in-water hull cleaning technology, and to investigate if hull cleaning a ship’s hull may result in reductions to fuel consumption and underwater noise. Completed March 2019

Download final report