GREEN MARINE RELEASES ITS NEW PERFORMANCE INDICATORS FOR UNDERWATER NOISE

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Quebec City, Wednesday, January 25, 2017 – Green Marine is broadening the scope of its North American environmental certification program by adding two performance indicators dealing with underwater noise emanating from ships and port activities respectively, with the goal of reducing the impact on marine mammals.

The Polar Code entered into force

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With more and more ships navigating in polar waters, IMO has moved to address international concern about the protection of the polar environment and the safety of seafarers and passengers with the introduction of new regulations that all ships operating in these harsh and challenging waters must comply with.

The mandatory Polar Code, for ships operating in Arctic and Antarctic waters, enters into force on 1 January 2017, marking a historic milestone in the work of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to address this key issue. Its requirements, which were specifically tailored for the polar environments, go above and beyond those of existing IMO conventions such as MARPOL and SOLAS, which are applicable globally and will still apply to shipping in polar waters.

Global treaty to halt invasive aquatic species to enter into force in 2017

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Accession by Finland has triggered the entry into force of a key international measure for environmental protection that aims to stop the spread of potentially invasive aquatic species in ships’ ballast water.

The International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments (BWM Convention) will enter into force on 8 September 2017, marking a landmark step towards halting the spread of invasive aquatic species, which can cause havoc for local ecosystems, affect biodiversity and lead to substantial economic loss. Under the Convention’s terms, ships will be required to manage their ballast water to remove, render harmless, or avoid the uptake or discharge of aquatic organisms and pathogens within ballast water and sediments.

MIB Info Update: Marine Mammals and Underwater Noise

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In response to an article that ran in the daily newspapers Journal de Québec and Journal de Montréal on May 7, 2016, we would like to set a few facts straight regarding underwater noise caused by shipping traffic and its impact on marine mammals. The Marine Information Bureau would like to point out that:

1. No autopsy
As mentioned in the article, no autopsy was carried out on the small whale found beached at Saint-Nicolas on May 1. As a result, it is impossible to know whether this marine mammal’s hearing system was damaged and whether there really is a relation between underwater noise and that fact that it ran ashore.

MIB Info Update: tankers on the St. Lawrence River

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Concerning a column published on February 6, 2016 in the Journal de Québec and the Journal de Montréal, some clarification is necessary on tankers navigating the St. Lawrence River. The MIB would like to point out that:

1. Supertankers
No supertanker has ever travelled the St. Lawrence. By definition, a supertanker is a ship carrying oil and measuring more than 400 m in length. The maximum length of ships navigating the St. Lawrence is currently about 300 m.

MIB info update: Oil spills in the St. Lawrence

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Concerning the article published in Le Devoir on November 4, 2015, some clarification is necessary on oil spills involving tankers navigating the St. Lawrence River. The MIB would like to point out that:

Oil spills from tankers are rare in Canada. Since the 1989 grounding of the Exxon Valdez, in Alaska, Canada has taken numerous measures to heighten tanker security, a fact the article fails to mention. These measures prevent spills and make shipping one of the safest, most environment-friendly means of transporting oil. Shipping by tankers is subject to regulations and a very strict, rigorous inspection regime.

Article on the MIB in the Port of Montreal’s PortInfo

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Since June 10, a one-stop window has been handling requests from everyone interested in Quebec’s marine transportation industry: the Maritime Information Bureau, or simply MIB. Created by the St. Lawrence Economic Development Council (SODES), the MIB is the result of a huge effort to gather information on the Quebec marine transportation industry and make it available in a single, easily accessible place. Since its launch, the MIB window has been open to everyone, journalist, elected officials and the public alike.

Transport Canada and Green Marine team up to address underwater noise

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Green Marine has signed a nine-month contract with Transport Canada to provide insight on underwater noise generated by shipping and its effects on marine life, along with potential solutions.

MIB info update: Dust in Limoilou

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Concerning the information on the public health department’s report on atmospheric pollutants in Limoilou that was in the news this week, the Maritime Information Bureau would like to point out that the last dust episode dates from 2012 and that, since then, the Port of Quebec and its partners have invested in implementing mitigation measures.

MIB info update – Ballast water

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Concerning the article published in Le Devoir on July 20, 2015, some clarification is necessary on ships’ ballast water management. The MIB would like to point out that:

In theory, aquatic invasive species can be introduced through a ship’s ballast water (water used to maintain vessel stability by controlling the weight distribution in its tanks). However, in practice, Canadian and international regulations (which have existed for years) remedy this problem.

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