Recent Whale Deaths Highlight Need for Integrated Coastal Planning and Management

VANCOUVER, Aug. 11, 2017 /CNW/ - Today's federal government announcement of temporary measures on shipping to address one of many anthropogenic risks to North Atlantic Right Whales highlights the need for formal integrated marine spatial planning to better manage human activity such as marine transportation, which is vital to the Canadian economy and its international trade.

At 1.8% of the Canadian economy, ships move more than $200 billion worth of goods to and from global markets. From farmers to retailers, thousands of Canadian jobs depend on a healthy and thriving trade environment. While Canada is making progress on enhancing its marine protection, it has not adequately progressed integrated planning in coastal areas of high usage. Adopting integrated marine spatial planning would not only better anticipate changing environmental conditions, but also ensure that Canada's regulatory and transportation framework could adapt to meet changing circumstances and avoid actions that make Canada's supply chain less competitive in a global marketplace.

"While the Oceans Protection Plan is a positive initiative, the current suite of federal legislative tools do not adequately manage and protect our coasts in areas of high human activity," said Chamber of Shipping President Robert Lewis-Manning. "If we are to properly protect our coastal waters and also grow the Canadian economy with international trade, we require a more robust coastal planning and management framework for marine transportation corridors."

International and domestic shipping in Canada has an extensive history of developing solutions to support the protection of marine mammals, including actions taken in the Bay of Fundy, the St Lawrence Estuary and, more recently, in the Salish Sea. Currently, the international marine industry is conducting a trial in Haro Strait, BC to determine the potential positive impacts to Southern Resident Killer Whales from reducing ship speed and the corresponding acoustic disturbance. The Chamber of Shipping looks forward to continued collaboration with the federal government and other stakeholders on protecting endangered marine mammals.

About Chamber of Shipping

The Chamber of Shipping represents commercial carriers and their agents in Canada which trade internationally and domestically. The marine transportation sector is vital to supporting Canadian trade and our continued prosperity and high standard of living depend on our ability to deliver resources, goods, and people in a responsible and competitive manner. Canada remains a strong trading nation, with one in five Canadian jobs and more than 60 per cent of our gross domestic product directly linked to exports.

SOURCE Chamber of Shipping

For further information: Denien Ford, Chamber of Shipping, T +1 604 681 2351, denien@cosbc.ca

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