Enhancing Cetacean Habitat and Observation (ECHO) Program

Industry
Marine and environmental protection
Location
Haro Strait
Duration
Ongoing
Task
To provide our expertise and knowledge in the working operations of the port and ships to help the ECHO Program better understand the effects of noise on killer whales and develop ways to reduce the potential threats to them.
Action
The BC Coast Pilots is working with the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, who leads the ECHO program, to find ways to protect endangered species like killer whales. We helped design a process to slow ships down, to manage the impacts of shipping on the mammals. Between August-October 2017, a vessel slowdown trial took place in Haro Strait, where the highest concentration of feeding occurs for the southern resident killer whales. As the program develops, the pilots continue to provide support to the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s advisory working group and Transport Canada which includes input from scientists, environmental groups, and fellow shipping industry companies to ensure the shipping industry is operating responsibly and sustainably to safeguard the sensitive marine environment.