The Beluga acoustic environment in the Saguenay River would not be affected 95.7% of the time

October 23rd, 2017

Study on underwater noise generated by the increase in maritime traffic


The Beluga acoustic environment in the Saguenay River would not be affected 95.7% of the time


Saguenay, October 23rd 2017 – A study carried out by WSP, at the request of the Saguenay Port Authority (SPA), shows that even considering a significant increase in maritime traffic on the Saguenay river, by multiplying it by three compared to its current level, the beluga acoustic environment would not be affected 95.7% of the time. This scenario, the highest in terms of increase in traffic, has allowed to analyze the cumulative effects by assuming the realization of all the potential projects for all the port facilities in the Saguenay river.


This study, conducted as part of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) process, followed recognized standards and the methodology was previously approved by Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The measurements took place on the Saguenay River in June 2017. Nearly 500 hours of recording using four (4) hydrophones made it possible to measure the acoustic oscillations of the passages of different types of ships in four sectors on a live basis  over nearly 100 kilometers from the mouth of the Saguenay (lower zone) to Anse au Sable and Cap Éternité (upper zone).


This study was particularly focussed on the traffic of merchant ships and cruises ships and their resulting sound impact.  Even if there is no movement of ships, this does not mean that the underwater environment is silent. The waves, the tides, the aquatic fauna, the small boats (kayaks, rowboats, sailboats, ...) contribute to the noise in aqueous medium. The term "noise-free sound environment of large vessels" refers to noise in the aquatic environment with everything in it except noise generated by merchant ships and cruise ships.


For the SPA, this study was essential to evaluate the underwater noise generated by a significant increase in navigation on the Saguenay river: "It was important for us to document the impacts of an increase in traffic on underwater noise and to share the results with the community. For this purpose, the study carried out is available via our website "concluded Mr. Carl Laberge, CEO of the Saguenay Port Authority.


About the Saguenay Port Authority


Established on May 1st, 1999, the Saguenay Port Authority's mission is to provide the services and infrastructures necessary to facilitate and increase the movement of people and goods at competitive costs, while respecting the stringent conditions for security and sustainable development. In addition to promoting domestic and international trade, its activities contribute significantly to the socio-economic objectives of the communities in the region.


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Source  :             Saguenay Port Authority, Tel. : 418 812-3113

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