Port of Vancouver offers discount for quieter ships

Canada’s Port of Vancouver has unveiled a new incentive for shipping companies to protect local marine wildlife. Vessels that meet new engine noise reduction standards will have their port fees cut by up to 47%. The port is claiming the discount is a world first.

Ship noise disrupts whale feeding, hunting and communication. Other initiatives around the world in areas of great whale populations have sought – without much success – to get shipping lanes moved.

The new rules in Vancouver went into effect on January 1.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. I was just wondering on how the Port of Vancouver arrived at the proposal which slices approximately half the revenue for berthing a ship on the amount of noise emanating from their engines.

    The claim is that ships’ engine noise disrupts whale feeding, hunting and communication. As I believe that no-one has actually managed to decipher or decrypt whale noise, communication or anything else from the entire world of whales; and all such decryption or otherwise is actually pure surmise, isn’t the whole idea just something to make believe that Vancouver Port is actually ‘doing’ something of benefit to the whales of this world?

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