Two new agreements to protect Southern Resident Killer Whales

Backgrounder

On May 10, 2019, the Government of Canada (Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Transport Canada) signed a Conservation Agreement with the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority and six other member organizations of the Enhancing Cetacean Habitat and Observation (ECHO) Program.

The goal of this agreement is to reduce acoustic and physical disturbances from large commercial vessels in Pacific waters, in particular those vessels that call at the Port of Vancouver. This agreement commits the parties to do so through the development and implementation of threat reduction measures to support Southern Resident killer whale recovery and in advancing research and educational outreach.

The agreement was made between:

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada
  • Transport Canada
  • The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority
  • The Pacific Pilotage Authority
  • The Chamber of Shipping of British Columbia
  • The Shipping Federation of Canada
  • Cruise Lines International Association
  • The Council of Marine Carriers
  • The International Ship Owners Alliance of Canada

The five-year agreement recognizes the leadership that the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority and the other organizations have taken on underwater noise through the ECHO Program.

The Government of Canada and the Pacific Whale Watch Association

The Government of Canada will be entering into an agreement with the Pacific Whale Watch Association who will refrain from offering tours on Southern Resident killer whales and will commit to taking other stewardship actions. This commitment will also allow them to approach other types of killer whales to a distance of 200 metres in the area.

Associated link

May, 2019


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