Whales are big, but container ships are bigger..
Environmental groups concerned about pollution and the whale populations in the Santa Barbara Channel have come up with an incentive for the vessel operators to reduce their speeds. It is hoped that with this reduction it could not only save whales lives, but lessen emissions from smog forming air pollutants.
The ships usually pass through the channel at a typical speed of 14-16 knots, this monetary encouragement of USD2500 is asking vessel operators to pull back to a pace of 12 knots or less.
Blue whales can live 80 to 90 years on average.
Ship strikes on whales are responsible for at least three deaths per year. It is possible that this number is more, with the whales likely killed by ships but never found.
The trial of speed reduction has been run from the 1 July and will run through until the 31October, which coincides with the busiest whale season and it is also the prime period for high levels of air pollution.
With approx 2500 ships passing through these waters every year, we are pleased to announce that these shipping companies are involved:
- Hapag Lloyd
- K Line
- Maersk Line
- United Arab Shipping Company
This program is modelled on a similar plan that is currently run at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.