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Wednesday, November 29, 2023

WSC Releases Global Whale Chart

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

November 7, 2023

© Jeremy Francis / Adobe Stock

© Jeremy Francis / Adobe Stock

Accidental collisions between ships and whales are a global concern, and can occur wherever there is an overlap between whale activity and vessel traffic. To help seafarers plan their voyages to minimize the risk of collisions, the World Shipping Council (WSC) has launch the WSC Whale Chart.

This navigational aid is the first global mapping of all mandatory and voluntary governmental measures to reduce harm to whales from ships. The WSC Whale Chart is available for free to all interested parties and will be regularly updated.

Whales inhabit the world’s oceans and many spend considerable time at the surface. For these reasons whales are especially vulnerable to injury by vessel traffic, and experience shows that separating ships and whales is the most effective way to limit ship strikes. In areas where separation is not possible, speed reductions can help mitigate the risk. Hence, there are numerous international, regional, national and local regulations and recommendations addressing areas to be avoided, routing measures, and speed restrictions for seafarers to keep track of as they navigate the globe.  

WSC works closely with NGOs, governments, regional and local authorities, and through the IMO to reduce the risk of collisions between ships, whales, and other cetaceans.

“With the WSC Whale Chart, seafarers will for the first time have a comprehensive global resource offering critical navigational coordinates and concise graphics to identify routing measures and areas subject to static speed restrictions designed to protect whales and other cetaceans. We hope that by compiling this unique navigational aid, keeping it updated and making it available for free to all navigators, we can help reduce ship strikes and safeguard endangered whale populations across the globe,” says John Butler, President & CEO of the WSC.

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