U.S. and Canadian marine transportation interests urge governments to respect binational collaboration to protect the Salish Sea
The Canadian based Chamber of Shipping and the United States’ based Pacific Merchant Shipping Association today expressed their joint support for continued binational federal leadership in ensuring safe and sustainable shipping.
Both organizations are focused on the Pacific Northwest and the Salish Sea as a vital gateway for marine commerce in Canada and the United States, and as a significant part of the larger North American supply chain that supports businesses, jobs and a high standard of living in both nations. The Salish Sea is a sensitive ecosystem and, while it plays a crucial role in our economies, ensuring its ecological sustainment and protecting species at risk is a shared responsibility.
The marine transportation industry is committed to doing its part, including supporting the recovery of the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whale. In fact, both organizations are active participants in the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s ECHO program, which seeks to better understand and manage the impact of shipping activities on whales in the Salish Sea.
“It’s encouraging to see the commitment of numerous people, organizations, and governments to protecting the Salish Sea and we share this commitment,” stated Robert Lewis-Manning, President of the Chamber of Shipping. “We encourage governments at all levels to respect the commitment made by both countries to international standards through the International Maritime Organization and to implement and enforce them federally.”
“Our comprehensive and interconnected marine safety system is producing remarkable results” said Captain Mike Moore, Vice President of the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association. “Zero spills from cargo vessels in transit is an important ongoing achievement as is the elimination of substandard vessels by Federal port state control inspectors. Additionally, international requirements now include locating fuel tanks away from the hull, the use of improved collision avoidance technology and the transition to cleaner non-persistent diesel fuels or LNG – and there is more to come.”
The United States and Canada have a long and successful history of working together to plan, prevent, and prepare for marine casualties, including: a Coordinated Vessel Inspection Initiative; a Cooperative Vessel Traffic Service Agreement, which was formalized in 1979; and a Joint Marine Pollution Contingency Plan whose main purpose is to provide a coordinated system for planning, preparedness and response to spills occurring in the coastal waters between the two countries.