Today the Chamber of Shipping encourages Canadians to observe the United Nations’ World Maritime Day. This year’s theme, Connecting Ships, Ports and People, acknowledges the many facets of the marine transportation industry, and promotes a collaborative approach on a range of issues, including navigational safety, protection of the marine environment, and marine security.
As Canada’s international trade continues to grow, it will become increasingly important to develop an integrated coastal strategy that ensures our marine ecosystems are protected for future generations.
“Coastal management must address areas of high activity where the need for sustainable growth should be proactively managed,” said Chamber of Shipping President Robert Lewis-Manning. “This should include the establishment and management of marine trade corridors with provisions that build confidence for Indigenous and coastal communities, and provide a predictable and efficient trading environment for marine transportation.”
The federal government’s $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan supports the premise of World Maritime Day theme and we urge the federal government to move forward in combining its safety management framework with ongoing marine protection planning initiatives, as integrated marine spatial planning and management is essential to the sustainable development of our coasts and greater efficiencies in shipping.
The Chamber recognizes the importance of, and heartily supports, the protection of our pristine coast. We work closely with Indigenous and coastal communities, governments, scientific and conservation groups to ensure shipping operations remain safe and environmentally sustainable. The shipping industry continues to invest heavily to reduce the environmental impact of its operations both locally and globally. Ports in British Columbia are viewed as global sustainability leaders and were the first to implement ballast water exchange programs and shore power technology in Canada. Furthermore, our members’ vessels are currently supporting a voluntary speed reduction trial in Haro Strait to assist in the development of a recovery strategy for Southern Resident Killer Whales.