MSC Awarded for Whale Protection Efforts


MSC Awarded for Whale Protection Efforts


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For the sixth year in a row, MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company has been awarded the highest tier Sapphire Award by the Protecting Blue Whales and Blue Skies (BWBS) environmental protection program in California. BWBS is a collaborative initiative led by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration that aims to assist ocean carriers reduce speeds while transiting near whale migration zones. 

By slowing down to <10 knots in these sensitive areas, participating ocean carriers substantially minimize the risk of accidental collisions with endangered whales. The program also greatly reduces underwater noise while cutting carbon emissions. Achieving the Sapphire Tier award means that MSC adhered to the speed reduction protocol in Vessel Speed Reduction (VSR) zones for 85-100% of the total fleet distance traveled. 

This year’s program ran from May 1 to December 15, 2023, and saw thirty-three global shipping companies participate. MSC, and other carriers worked to reduce speed in the San Francisco Bay area and the Southern California region adjacent to the Port of Long Beach. Environmental experts have identified these areas as critical zones for whale feeding and migratory patterns. 

As an industry leader, MSC is committed to advancing environmental sustainability in the transportation and logistics sector. To achieve this, MSC works consistently to minimize the way that its operation impacts the ecosystems that whales and marine life inhabit. Furthermore, MSC is proud to have been a part of this year’s BWBS program which saw participating companies reduce emissions by 1,250 tons of NOx (nitrogen oxides) and 45,000 metric tons of regional GHGs (greenhouse gases). 

Stanley Kwiaton, MSC Regional Manager, West Coast Port Operations stated “MSC is grateful to once again see our efforts recognized for the sixth year in a row. As a family company that was born from a passion for the sea we are dedicated to realizing sustainable cargo transportation. We look forward to continued success in the future as we work together to make our oceans safer for generations to come."

Whales are incredibly important for marine ecosystems worldwide, which is why MSC works to protect their populations by rerouting and slowing down in other regions including Greece and Sri Lanka. MSC also works closely with the International Maritime Organization, the World Wide Fund for Nature, and the World Shipping Council to identify and implement best practices that set a standard for the entire industry. 

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