Save whales from deadly ship strikes. Urge World Ship Council sign lanes shift by Nov 27
Each year, the estimated 300 whales feeding near the Southern coast of Sri Lanka are hit over 1.000 times by up to 300 meters long carrier vessels. 50 of these strikes are likely to be lethal for the rare Pygmy blue whales.
2016 could be the ‘year of no return’ for the whales in the area, unless the Sri Lankan authorities, in collaboration with the World Shipping Council agree to submit, before the 27th of November deadline, a proposal to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to shift the current lanes 15 Nautical Miles South. Proposals submitted after this deadline would be enforced only 24 months later, thus condemning the whales.
Friend of the Sea is urging the Sri Lankan Government, the World Shipping Council (representing 90% of the shipping industry) and the top ten shipping companies (NYK,Maersk, Evergreen Marine Corporation, CMA-CGM,MSC, Hapag-Lloyd, APL, Cosco, Hanjin, and CSCL) to submit the proposal to IMO to shift the lanes 15 nautical miles South. Friend of the Sea has offered its help to coordinate a meeting between the parties in the next few weeks.
The shipping industry has greatly reduced its environmental impact over the years. It is now time to deal with its silent impact on whales which are being decimated by ship strikes. Shifting the lanes 15 nautical miles South would reduce whales’ strikes by 95%. The artisanal fisheries and the whale watching industry, which is driving tourism in the area, would also benefit. Coastal pollution would be reduced. Ships would in the end have to add only an average 5 miles to their trips. By meeting the 27th of November deadline, Sri Lanka could become an example to be followed globally in environmental protection and whales’ conservation
Signe Bruun Jensen
- COSCO Container Lines America
- NYK Line
- Hanjin Shipping
Eshana De Silva
- VP - World Shipping Council
- Friend of the Sea
we urge the World Shipping Council, Hapag-Lloyd, Maersk, COSCO, NYK, Hanjin Shipping and the major shipping companies to take action to meet the 27th of November deadline to submit a proposal to amend the current shipping lanes South of Sri Lanka and shift them 15 nautical miles South.
The best available Scientific studies have concluded that this change will lead to a 95% drop in whales mortality. The current situation is unsustainable and it would otherwise lead the whales populations in the area to the brink of extinction.
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