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January 29, 2024
World Wildlife Fund Canada launches #LessNoise campaign, calls on federal government to finally deliver underwater noise pollution plan
TORONTO – With Canada’s oceans getting louder — causing increasing harm to marine species — the federal government initially committed to release the first draft of its Ocean Noise Strategy in summer 2021. Then by the end of 2022.
Now, as Parliament sits for the first time in 2024, WWF-Canada is urging them to not let another year go by without delivering a strong plan to protect whales, walrus and other sea life from underwater noise pollution.
In the darkness of the underwater world, many species rely on sound to sense their environment, navigate, communicate, find food and mates, and avoid danger. The impacts of intensifying industrialization of the ocean — increasing ship traffic, deafening seismic blasts from oil and gas activities, port expansions and the roar of marine construction — are being documented across marine ecosystems.
Underwater noise pollution can disrupt normal behaviours, impair feeding, mask communication, interfere with echolocation, increase stress levels, and even contribute to fatal ship strikes and strandings of whales.
“Some parts of the ocean are more than 100 times louder than they would be naturally — and with human activity on the ocean continuing to intensify, Canada needs a strong plan to turn down the volume now,” says Hussein Alidina, WWF-Canada’s lead specialist for marine conservation.
“WWF-Canada is calling for not only the release of the delayed Ocean Noise Strategy, but for one strong enough to deliver meaningful, measurable and urgent action that whales and other species impacted by underwater noise pollution desperately need.”
To hit the right note, Canada’s Ocean Noise Strategy should:
How Canadians can help turn down the volume:
Concerned citizens can send an email to their federal MP and the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard with one click at wwf.ca/underwaternoise.
Notes to editors: Visit WWF-Canada’s interactive website to explore what underwater noise pollution sounds like in different parts of the ocean.
A timeline of Canada’s Ocean Noise Strategy commitments:
How underwater noise pollution impacts wildlife in Canada’s ocean:
For more information, please contact:
Emily Vandermeer, Senior Communications Specialist
Joshua Ostroff, Senior Manager, Editorial