Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Shipping Companies Lauded

By Karen Robes Meeks

Eleven shipping companies have been recognized by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation for their efforts to reduce vessel speeds to less than 12 knots, a measure that curbs air emissions and improves whale safety.

Honorees, who were feted at Banning’s Landing Community Center near the Port of Los Angeles, included CMA CGM, Evergreen, Hamburg Sud, Hapag Lloyd, Hyundai, K Line, Maersk, Matson, MSC (Mediterranean Shipping Company), NYK (Nippon Yusen Kaisha) Ro/Ro Division, and Yang Ming.

"Our national marine sanctuaries provide opportunities to build innovative partnerships for on-the-water conservation that protect rare species and the places they call home," said Kris Sarri, president and CEO of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. "The voluntary vessel speed reduction program is one example of how we can create a win-win for conservation and the health of coastal communities by engaging shipping companies in reducing whale mortality from ship strikes and improving air quality for children while maintaining commerce."

The voluntary program, which took place from July 1 to November 15, included first-time zones in the San Francisco Bay Area and the Santa Barbara Channel region.

"The expansion of the vessel speed reduction program in 2017 demonstrates that ocean commerce and ocean conservation can work together when the shipping industry, NGOs, and government are in partnership," said Chris Mobley, superintendent, NOAA’s Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.