MSC Recognized for Protecting Whales off California Coastline


MSC Recognized for Protecting Whales off California Coastline


For the fifth consecutive year MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company a global leader in container shipping and logistics, has received the Sapphire Tier Award from the Protecting Blue Whales and Blue Skies (BWBS) program in California. The BWBS initiative embodies a cooperative undertaking involving NOAA's National Marine Sanctuaries, California's air pollution control districts, the California Marine Sanctuary Foundation, alongside various non-profit entities.

This voluntary program ran May 1 2022 through December 15 2022 and centers on reducing vessel speeds, aiming to ensure the well-being of whales, enhance air quality, and foster a more serene marine environment. By reducing speeds to less than 10 knots in the San Francisco Bay area, and in certain waters adjacent to the Port of Long Beach, MSC vessels have drastically reduced the risk of collision with vulnerable whale populations.

Earning the Sapphire Tier award means that MSC complied with the speed reduction protocol between 85-100% of the total fleet distance traveled throughout the vessel speed reduction (VSR) zones.

In these regions vulnerable whale populations intersect with major shipping lanes which poses a risk to these animals through unintentional collisions. Protecting marine life is part and parcel of MSC’s commitment to realizing sustainable shipping, which is why MSC, along with participating BWBS companies moved to reduce speeds to better protect these endangered animals. Slowing down in these areas not only protects whales, but it also works to substantially reduce carbon emissions.

Stanley Kwiaton, MSC’s Regional Manager of West Coast Port Operations, stated that “MSC is committed to safeguarding the marine environment and the wildlife that inhabits it. We have taken proactive measures to reduce our impact on endangered whales by voluntarily slowing down our vessels in sensitive areas.”

Stanley added that “We are also collaborating with other stakeholders to raise awareness and promote best practices for whale protection. We are very honored to be recognized for this important work now for the fifth year in a row and look forward to setting an example for our entire industry.”

Whales play a crucial role in our world’s oceans by preserving biodiversity through their feeding and migratory cycle. They also aid greatly in carbon sequestration by storing large amounts of carbon in their bodies which eventually becomes cycled through the ecosystem. As a family company that was born from a passion for the sea, MSC understands the unique role that we must serve as a responsible steward of our world’s oceans.

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About MSC
MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, is a global leader in transportation and logistics, privately owned and founded in 1970 by Gianluigi Aponte. As one of the world’s leading container shipping lines, MSC has 675 offices across 155 countries worldwide, with the MSC Group employing over 180,000 people. With access to an integrated network of road, rail and sea transport resources which stretches across the globe, the company prides itself on delivering global service with local knowledge. MSC’s shipping line sails on 300 trade routes, calling at 520 ports, and is targeting net zero decarbonization by 2050.

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