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Protecting the Southern Resident Killer Whale: Reducing Underwater Noise from Escort Tugs




Transport Canada is seeking new innovations to reduce the underwater radiated noise (URN) generated by tugs that escort large commercial vessels through the critical habitat of the Southern Resident Killer Whale in the Salish Sea.

Eligible Applicants

Solution proposals can only be submitted by a small business that meets all of the following criteria:

  • for profit
  • incorporated in Canada (federally or provincially)
  • 499 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees
  • research and development activities that take place in Canada
  • 50% or more of its annual wages, salaries and fees are currently paid to employees and contractors who spend the majority of their time working in Canada
  • 50% or more of its FTE employees have Canada as their ordinary place of work
  • 50% or more of its senior executives (Vice President and above) have Canada as their principal residence

Eligible Expenses

The program will fund projects that proposed solution to reduce the underwater radiated noise (URN) generated by tugs that escort large commercial vessels:

  1. present a design concept for a URN mitigation solution, applicable to a Salish Sea escort tug. It must comprise the development of an optimal combination of various existing URN measures, relevant to the size and operational profile of this type of vessel, or the development of a new technology that may be applied to one or more noise sources onboard the vessel and which could be combined with other measures for overall URN reduction.
  2. not impair normal vessel operations, functionality, or the safety of the ship or its crew;
  3. not result in increased air pollutants, emissions or other undesirable impacts on the environment;
  4. be reliable (be effective in a diverse variety of operating environments, weather conditions, sea states);
  5. clearly outline the aspects or elements of the technology that are different from existing technologies, if it comprises the development of a new technology for URN reduction;
  6. include an estimate of the vessel URN reduction achieved by the solution in comparison to similar vessels as well as established noise level thresholds (such as the quiet vessel notations offered by some classification societies), with supporting information (such as modelling results, if available).

In addition, the proposed solution should:

  1. be effective at reducing vessel URN when applied to or retrofitted on existing vessels.

Deadline Date

  Closing date: June 10, 2020, 14:00 Eastern Daylight Time


Contact Name: Government of Canada

E-mail Address:


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