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FBC Facilitation Support

Port of Vancouver ECHO Program


In early December 2023 the port authority-led ECHO Program concluded its longest-running season of voluntary measures to reduce the impacts of commercial ship traffic on endangered southern resident killer whales. 

About the ECHO Initiative

The Fraser Basin Council serves as a facilitator for the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s program called Enhancing Cetacean Habitat and Observation (ECHO). Launched in 2014, ECHO is aimed at better understanding and reducing the cumulative effects of shipping on whales on the southern coast of British Columbia.

As whales and ships share the same waters, many of the ships calling at the Port of Vancouver travel through critical habitat of the endangered southern resident killer whales, as well as through other areas of importance to whales such as the northern resident killer whales and humpback, fin, blue and sei whales.

Many different organizations operate commercial vessels within the port’s jurisdiction. The ECHO program takes a collaborative approach to addressing and understanding the cumulative effects of vessel activity on whales. The program involves Canadian and US partners and advisors from across government agencies, the marine transportation industry, Indigenous communities and environmental groups. It is guided by the advice and input of an advisory working group and associated technical committees.

For several years the ECHO program has run underwater noise reduction initiatives, which include voluntary seasonal  slow-down and distancing trials for commercial shiips in key areas of southern resident killer whale habitat.

2023 ECHO Trials

Port of Vancouver ECHO program 2023

In early December 2023 the longest-running season of voluntary measures to reduce the impacts of commercial ship traffic on endangered southern resident killer whales.  For over 180 days, ship operators from over 100 marine transportation organizations have voluntarily slowed down or moved away from key areas of southern resident killer whale critical habitat. These measures spanned across more than 80 nautical miles, or 148 kilometres, of southern resident killer whale critical habitat off the coast of B.C. and Washington State.

With industry participation (86-94%), the ECHO Program’s ship slowdowns have been shown to reduce whale strike risk by up to nearly 30% and reduce underwater noise by 50% —helping to reduce key threats to at-risk whales like ship strikes and acoustic disturbance.

Learn More

Learn more about work in 2024 at Port of Vancouver ECHO program.

About the Fraser Basin Council

The Fraser Basin Council (FBC) is a charitable non-profit organization that brings people together to advance sustainability in British Columbia.

Where We Work

We are grateful to live and work on the unceded ancestral territories of the Indigenous Nations of British Columbia.

Our Vision

Social well-being supported by a vibrant economy and sustained by a healthy environment.

Strategic Priorities

At the Fraser Basin Council, our strategic priorities are to take action on climate change, support healthy watersheds and water resources, and build sustainable and resilient communities.

With our partners, we work on a range of collaborative, multi-sector initiatives, such as those focused on flood management, community wildfire planning, air quality improvement, energy-efficient buildings, green transportation (including the uptake of electric vehicles and expansion of charging infrastructure), watershed planning and youth-driven climate action projects.

FBC Program Sites

Plug in BC:


ReTooling for Climate Change:

FBC Youth:

Climate Action Toolkit: 

Salmon-Safe BC

Realizing UNDRIP Initiative

Contact Us

FBC staff work from our Vancouver, Kamloops, Williams Lake and Prince George offices, and from several other locations.

To reach us, see FBC Offices and FBC Staff or contact our administration office:

Fraser Basin Council
1st Floor, 470 Granville Street
Vancouver, BC V6C 1V5

T: 604 488-5350