Conservationists and shipping companies join hands to save blue whales

  • Tue,5 Mar 2019 10:43:31 AM

British Asia News Network- AD

Colombo: Conservationists and shipping companies have come together to move the heavily-trafficked lane about 28 kilometres (17 miles) away to help avoid friction between whales and ships. Around estimated 600 to 1,500 whales eat tiny shrimp in the shipping lane, and are also believed to mate and give birth nearby.

Bryan Wood-Thomas, vice president of the World Shipping Council, said the group wrote to the Sri Lankan prime minister in 2017, affirming that all major international shipping organizations believed Sri Lanka should work with the United Nations to move its traffic lane.

"This is one of the few cases in the world where we can physically separate ships from where the whales are," Wood-Thomas said. "Yes, it adds a little distance, fuel and money to shipping costs, but the extra cost is really minor."

A formal proposal must be submitted by Lanka to the International Maritime Organization, the U.N. agency that regulates shipping. Despite numerous meetings between scientists, the shipping industry and U.N. officials during the past six years, Sri Lankan officials have demurred from supporting the shipping lane shift.

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