September 15, 2015 6:18 pm
Updated: September 16, 2015 10:48 pm

New hydrophones monitor ship noise in Salish Sea

WATCH: Port Metro Vancouver is hoping to limit the danger to whales posed by huge cargo ships by listening underwater. Linda Aylesworth reports.


VANCOUVER – Researchers have installed another underwater listening station in British Columbia’s Salish Sea to better understand how shipping noise impacts at-risk whales.

The installation Monday was part of a program run by Port Metro Vancouver, the University of Victoria’s Ocean Networks Canada and the hydrophone’s manufacturer.

Underwater noise has been identified as a threat to orcas that make their home in the waters between Vancouver Island and the mainland and are listed as at risk by Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

The port says pilots plan to manoeuvre as many deep-sea vessels as possible near the station’s hydrophone.

It says the recordings will allow researchers to understand the different types of sounds created by vessels in effort to mitigate the noise.

The underwater listening station is part of the networks’ VENUS ocean observatory, which is one of three it operates in B.C. and the Arctic.

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