Photo: John Woods The canadian Press
This situation could harm the beluga whales that live in the marine park created to protect them.
The federal review of the proposed terminal, which would be responsible for the ore to Arianne phosphate, you can see that the maritime traffic industrial will significantly increase on the Saguenay in the course of the next few years, especially due to the construction of the new port. A situation that could harm the beluga whales that live in the marine park created to protect them.
According to the Saguenay port Authority (APS), the project proponent, the scenario “maximum” use of the future terminal would be the equivalent of 140 ships per year in 2030. A scenario means a 60% increase in maritime traffic, compared to the current situation. But if we add the other projects in development, including the terminal of liquefied natural gas, Energy-Saguenay, more than 635 ships could go up the Saguenay in 2030, an increase of 180 %.
After evaluating the increase in shipping traffic and the measures provided by the APS to reduce the number of vessels required for the project of Arianne Phosphate, ” Fisheries and Oceans Canada is of the opinion that the expected increase in the maritime traffic related to the project would have a low risk of negative effect on the beluga population of the St. Lawrence estuary “, one can read in the interim report of the canadian environmental assessment Agency.
The federal department recognizes, however, that this “risk” is in addition to other elements that harm already to the recovery of the species, including the noise pollution in their critical habitat.
Expert of the beluga whales for more than 30 years, Robert Michaud believes that the “invasion” of their acoustic environment is an issue to be taken seriously on the Saguenay, as these cetaceans rely extensively on sound for all phases of their life.
Moreover, the federal government and the government of Quebec announced this year’s funding for projects, which should enable a better understanding of how changing the noise pollution in the critical habitat of the species, including the Saguenay, is part.