• 2022 October 15 11:29

    ICS heralds’ successful collaboration to reduce harm to whales

    National associations and shipping companies have been implementing the use of mitigation measures to reduce the risk of harm to endangered whale species.

    The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), the global trade association for shipowners and operators, are encouraging the shipping industry to take action to reduce the risk of harm to endangered whale species.

    This is an issue that the shipping industry takes seriously and has resulted in the implementation of measures that aim to prevent collisions between whales and ships, from reducing vessel speed and rerouting to engaging stakeholders to raise further awareness.

    Significant steps have already been taken by the industry to help protect marine mammals. This includes areas around the world where speed limits apply to vessels, such as the St Lawrence River in Canada and the Gibraltar straits. There is also guidance on ‘Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas’ which provide caution to mariners on ‘whale avoidance’. Shipowners are encouraged to follow the relevant national and international guidance.

    The German Shipowners’ Association (VDR) announced this summer its support of two whale protection initiatives by the NGOs OceanCare and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). Both initiatives aim to protect whales by rerouting ships to avoid areas at high risk of collisions. The OceanCare initiative aims to protect sperm whales in the Eastern Mediterranean, and the IFAW initiative aims to protect blue whales in the coastal waters off the southern tip of Sri Lanka.

    Guy Platten, ICS Secretary General, commented:

    “Whales are a vulnerable and endangered species. The ocean is their home, and we must make sure that international shipping activities are mindful of their presence. It is really positive to see our members working with NGOs on initiatives that address this serious issue. There is always more that can be done, and that is why we are working with the IMO, and other stakeholders on reviewing maritime guidelines.”

    ICS, established in 1921 is the global trade association for shipowners and operators, representing the world’s national shipowner associations and over 80 % of the world merchant fleet. ICS has members from around 40 countries: national shipowners’ associations, shipping companies from all sectors of the shipowner community including dry bulk carriers, oil tankers, chemical tankers, gas carriers, container ships, general cargo ships, offshore support vessels, and passenger ships. ICS is an international, independent, not-for-profit London-based trade association.




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