518 Vessel Killer Whale


The presence of southern resident killer whales in Haro Strait was confirmed on July 12th.  The return of these endangered whales signals the start of the voluntary vessel slowdown in Haro Strait.

Vessels are requested to please slow down to the speed indicated below througth the slowdown area.

518 Slowdown Speeds


The slowdown period will remain active until September 15 and, if the whales remain in the area, may be extended up to October 31.  If you wish to receive newsletters about the slowdown, you may click here to subscribe to recieve future updates and notification from the ECHO Program.



518 WW MM Regs


On July 11, the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, announced that amendments to the Marine Mammal Regulations (MMR) are now published in the Canada Gazette, Part II.  The new rules for whale watching and approaching marine mammals, which are now in effect, will provide a minimum approach distance of 100 metres for most whales, dolphins and porpoises to legally protect these animals from human disturbances. The required distance requirement will be greater for certain marine mammals, including killer whales in B.C. and the St. Lawrence Estuary Beluga in Quebec, because of the threats they already face or because of local geography. These variations include:

  • 200 m for all killer whale populations in B.C. and the Pacific Ocean;
  • 200 m for all whales, dolphins and porpoises in the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park;
  • 400 m for threatened or endangered whales, dolphins and porpoises in the St. Lawrence Estuary (the critical habitat of the endangered St. Lawrence Estuary beluga); and
  • 50 m in parts of the Churchill Estuary (which includes the Churchill River) and parts of the Seal River

The requirement to respect the approach distances does not apply to a vessel that is in transit.   Amendments to the MMR also require operaters of a vehicle to report a collision or or other accidental contact with a marine mammal.  Before the changes to the regulations, voluntary guidelines existed but they were not enforceable.  These amendments now make it possible for anyone in contravention of the Regulations to be charged with an offence under the Fisheries Act.


497 methanol


The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has invited the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to develop a standard for methyl/ethyl alcohol as a marine fuel and a standard for methyl/ethyl alcohol couplings.  There are currently 8 vessels that operate on Methanol as fuel, the ropax Stena Germanica and seven tankers operated by Waterfornt Shipping, with an additional four ships to enter into service in 2019.  This is the first time ISO has considered these fuel types.





518 Wista logo

The International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) governing body, the IMO Council, approved the Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) application for consultative status on 5 July 2018.  “Consultative status gives us the opportunity to promote diversity, inclusion and women’s empowerment, which are our main aims,” said WISTA International President Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou. “We can now formally contribute to the discussion for increasing capacity in our industry, a critical component of which is promoting women in the industry, both shoreside and shipboard. WISTA’s efforts support the overarching principles in IMO’s Strategic Plan, especially the promotion of Gender Equality and the empowerment of women.”  WISTA International has more than 3,000 members worldwide representating 44 National WISTA Associations.




Thursday, 12 July 2018 08:35

LNG Canada Kitimat - update on activities

513 lngcanada


LNG Canada is providing an update on summer activities that will be taking place at the site over the summer.  While the exact date for a Final Investment Decision (FID) has not yet been determined, LNG Canada is advancing on seasonally sensitve work over the summer to minimize impacts on the enviroment.  These activities include:

  • Site preparation for the workforce accommodation centre — Cedar Valley Lodge
  • Preparation for marine construction, including dredging works to increase the depth of the berthing areas in the Port of Kitimat
  • Site work that has been permitted and needs to be completed according to the planned season, such as creek work at Beaver Creek and Kitimat River side channel

LNG Canada will be providing more details at an Open House scheduled for July 31st at Riverlodge Recreation Centre in Kitimat.



Wednesday, 11 July 2018 14:51

What to do with the MV Sun Sea

518 MV Sun Sea


The federal government is trying to figure out what to do with the MV Sun Sea, and has issued a Request for Information (RFI).  Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) is requesting Industry feedback regarding potential options for the vessel, which has been in the custody of the Canada Border Services Agency since 2010.  The government is interested in obtaining input on alternative disposal methods that are environmentally sound and lower costs to Canada Taxpayers.  The MV Sun Sea was carrying 492 Sri Lankan Tamils when it was intercepted off the coast of British Columbia on August 12, 2010.  It is currently moored at a facility on the Fraser River in Delta, BC.


518 COSCO Shipping


The U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States had notified that it does not have any outstanding security issues following an agreement with the U.S. government to divest the Long Beach container terminal business to a third party.  Cosco has said the U.S. regulator has cleared its planned takeover of the Hong Kong-based container shipping operator, after Cosco agreed to place a large container terminal in Long Beach, Calif., into a U.S.-run trust and put it up for sale.  When everything is final COSCO will hold 90.1% of OOIL.


Tuesday, 10 July 2018 11:16

IMO sets 2019 Word Maritime Day theme



"Empowering Women in the Maritime Community" has been selected as the World Maritime Day theme for 2019. This will provide an opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of gender equality, in line with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and to highlight the important contribution of women all over the world to the maritime sector. The Council of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), meeting for its 120th session at IMO Headquarters in London, endorsed the theme, following a proposal by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim. IMO has been making a concerted effort to help the industry move forward and help women achieve a representation that is in keeping with twenty-first century expectations. This work has been focused through IMO's gender and capacity building programme, which is now in its thirtieth year.



Tuesday, 10 July 2018 10:56

Container carriers halt Iran services

518 Bandar Abbas


CMA CGM, Hyundai Merchant Marine, Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Co have all withdrawn their Iranian services in advance of US Sanctions being imposed on Iran.  While no date has yet been set for the sanctions, the carriers will want to avoid being caught in secondary actions that will be imposed by the United States against companies that continue to deal with Iran.  COSCO Shipping is part of the Ocean Alliance that has restructured its Asia-Middle East Services and dropped calling Bandar Abbas, however it is not known if COSCO still plans to continue trading with Iran.





518 Corrigan


Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, in conjunction with the minister of transport and on the recommendation of a committee of port users, has appointed Michael Corrigan to the board of directors of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority for a term of three years commencing June 29, 2018.  Mr. Corrigan has extensive international experience in the marine transportation industry. As the President & CEO, he guided BC Ferries, one of the world’s largest ferry operators, through a significant transformation in all aspects of its business. Currently he is the CEO of Interferry Inc., a trade association representing the world-wide ferry industry.


Friday, 06 July 2018 12:17

First Narrows voluntary slowdown

517 firstnarrows

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is encouraging boaters to slow down when transiting the First Narrows Traffic Control Zone, which includes the area either side of the Lions Gate Bridge. The voluntary 15-knot speed restriction to help keep port users safe will be in effect between July 6 and October 1, 2018. It is applicable to all tier 2 vessels, which includes any vessel that is not a deep-sea piloted vessel. Most recreational vessels such as power boats, fishing boats, and sailboats fall into this category, in addition to tugs, ferries, and whale watching boats, among others. Deep-sea commercial vessels already follow a speed restriction of 10 knots through the First Narrows Traffic Control Zone.

Friday, 06 July 2018 12:06

Crude by rail on the rise

517 rail

The National Energy Board says crude-by-rail exports from Canada grew to a record 193,500 barrels per day in April, up 13 per cent from the previous month, as full pipelines forced more producers to use trains to get their products to market.  Demand for Canadian heavy oil is expected to increase as it will be needed in the US Gulf Coast refining complex to replace shrinking volumes from Venezuela.  US refiners took 3.73 million barrels a day of Canadian oil for the week ending June 29, the largest volume in weekly government data going back to June 2010. The boost helped thrust total US crude imports to 9.01 million, the highest in over a year.

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