Government announces funds to improve underwater listening in B.C. waters
This September 2015 file photo provided by NOAA Fisheries shows an adult female orca, identified as J-16, as she's about to surface with her youngest calf, born earlier in the year, near the San Juan Islands in Washington state's Puget Sound. (NOAA Fisheries/Vancouver Aquarium via AP, File)
The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, October 11, 2017 2:05PM PDT
VANCOUVER - Scientists are getting $7.2 million from the federal government to expand a network of underwater listening devices around British Columbia's coast.
The government says the money will help improve the collection of listening stations installed along the Pacific coast, especially in key areas used by killer whales.
Ocean Networks Canada at the University of Victoria will use the money to augment its network of oceanographic radars and hydrophones that are already in the water.
Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc says a better understanding of the underwater environment will allow for conservation of marine ecosystems.
The government says the funding will also collect more data on the speed and direction of ocean currents, which could enhance navigation and support emergency response.
The announcement was made at a symposium in Vancouver looking at a co-ordinated approach to the recovery and protection of southern resident killer whales, a species at risk in Canada.