CSL’s 2030 vision for water protection encompasses conserving our precious freshwater resources and protecting the marine ecosystems in which we operate. At CSL we strive to improve the understanding of interactions between shipping and marine biodiversity and work with researchers, governments and communities around the world to protect our lakes, rivers and oceans.
- Continually strive for zero oil spills
- Seek innovative protection measures to eliminate the spread of aquatic invasive species
- Help improve the understanding of underwater noise impacts on marine mammals
Ballast water is water that is pumped on and off a ship to maintain the vessel’s stability and trim. When ballast water is loaded, small marine animals and plants are often drawn into the ballast tanks. These organisms often survive in the vessel’s ballast tanks and may be discharged in other regions, some of which may not be their native habitats. Due to the lack of natural predators, these “invasive” species may flourish in their new habitats, sometimes displacing or killing native organisms. CSL views ballast water as two separate challenges – organism introduction and organism transfer – and therefore espouses two separate solutions to protect natural ecosystems.
Addressing the “introduction” issue, CSL enrolled in the U.S. Coast Guard’s voluntary Shipboard Technology Evaluation Program (STEP). STEP will enable CSL to install prototype ballast water treatment systems onboard vessels to test emerging ballast water treatment technologies. On the Great Lakes, “organism transfer” is the more prominent issue. Of the 180 invasive species present on the Great Lakes, only 30 are not already spread commonly throughout the lakes. In cooperation with the Ballast Water Collaborative, CSL undertook a risk-based approach with regard to established invasive species present in the Great Lakes. Currently, CSL is working on an initiative to prevent the transfer of the 30 “uncommon” species, and will be testing mechanical filters during the 2012 season on the Great Lakes. The filters will be installed on-board the Richelieu.
Supporting The WWF Right Whale Recovery Project
On a global scale, many marine species have drastically declined in numbers. The Right Whale of the North Atlantic is among the most threatened marine vertebrates. The two leading causes of right whale deaths by humans are collisions with ships and entanglement in fishing gear. CSL is proud to provide financial support to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) for its work to reduce bycatch of the North Atlantic right Whale.
By supporting WWF, CSL has helped develop new conservation tools, transform industry practices and inform the Federal Action Plan that will rewrite the future for right whales. Preliminary discussions were held between CSL and WWF/Memorial University on a proposed research project to study how the reproductive capacity of whales in the Grand Banks of Newfoundland will be affected by a variety of management and climate change scenarios. Key goals of the modelling study are to identify “High Conservation Value” areas for whales on the Grand Banks and strengthen whale recovery plans listed under the Species at Risk Act.