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Government of Canada to invest up to $30M to support development of first low-noise and low-emissions tanker

The Government of Canada recognizes that marine species, including the Southern Resident killer whale, are impacted by underwater vessel noise. Acoustic disturbances can reduce their ability to find prey, effectively navigate, and communicate with each other, while also creating stress.

The Government of Canada is thus committing to invest up to $30 million to support the development of the world’s first low-noise and low-emissions tanker, working toward an Agreement in Principle with Vancouver-based Teekay Shipping (Canada) Ltd.


Killer whales. (Holly Fearnbach, NOAA)

Working with Teekay provides access to private sector expertise and capital to deploy new technologies on low-emission and low-noise crude oil tankers operating in Canadian waters.

This low-emission and low-noise crude oil tanker will be equipped with the latest proven quiet technologies and powered by Canadian liquefied natural gas. To limit emissions and ensure the best outcome for marine life, the vessel will have specific design targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% and reduce noise by up to 90%, compared to conventional tankers.

The agreement in principle with Teekay aligns with the Government’s promise to work with the shipping industry to develop and deploy the best available technologies and practices.

The $1.5-billion Oceans Protection Plan is the largest investment ever made to protect Canada’s coasts and waterways. Since it started in November 2016, more than 50 initiatives have been announced in the areas of marine safety, research and ecosystem protection that span coast-to-coast-to-coast.

Actions through the Oceans Protection Plan, the Whales Initiative, the Emergency Order measures, and accommodation measures such as the Quiet Vessel Initiative have all been designed to address key threats to the Southern Resident killer whale throughout their critical habitat.

Building on the Oceans Protection Plan, the Government of Canada introduced last year the $167.4-million Whales Initiative to protect and support the recovery of three at-risk whale species: the Southern Resident killer whale; the North Atlantic right whale; and the St. Lawrence Estuary beluga whale.

In October 2018, an additional $61.5 million was dedicated to address threats to the Southern Resident killer whale. These initiatives support the recovery of Canada’s endangered whale populations by addressing the main threats they face: lack of prey, noise and physical disturbance from vessels, vessel strikes, and pollution from land-based sources.



Good for Canada. It must be terrible for whales to have their senses constantly bombarded by ship engine noises (and occasional sonar).

However, they need to get everyone else in the neighbourhood to do the same - some chance.


Another way would be to mit speed to under 5 knots in areas with whales and large fishes.

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