MSC Cruises has been selected for the Friend of the Sea Whale-Safe Award due to its implementation of tangible measures to protect endangered whale populations from whale ship collisions, according to a press release.
“Friend of the Sea is encouraged to witness broadened attention towards the neglected yet severe issue of whale ship collisions. It remains essential that major shipping and cruise operators set a precedent, and for that reason, we are pleased to award MSC Cruises with Whale-Safe recognition. We hope to see more cruise and shipping lines follow whale-safe practices and apply for the Whale-Safe certification and award,” said Paolo Bray, Founder, and Director of Friend of the Sea.
Although the international prohibition of whaling in the late 90s saved great whale species from the brink of extinction, recent empirical evidence has indicated ship collisions as currently one of the most prominent human-induced threats to whales.
In 2021 Friend of the Sea initiated the Whale-Safe campaign out of concern for rising collision-related mortalities as global shipping traffic continues to steadily expand. The Friend of the Sea Whale-Safe award is intended to attract further critical awareness and to spur collective dialogue towards designing effective solutions, and ultimately imperative change within the maritime industry.
Last year, Friend of the Sea conducted a comprehensive study assessing the extent of whale-safe efforts by shipping entities with MSC Cruises showcasing the highest degree of whale-safe engagement, according to a statement.
Concerning whale-safe technology, MSC cruise ships have been equipped with specially designed hulls, propellers, and noise suppression devices, aimed to significantly minimize underwater vibrations and the subsequent impact on cetaceans, earning MSC Cruises the Underwater Radiated Noise (URN) certification from Bureau Veritas on several of its ships. In 2021, MSC Cruises was also commended for re-routing ships in the East Mediterranean to help protect populations of sperm whale in the Hellenic Trench.
“MSC Cruises has a longstanding commitment to protecting the ocean and marine wildlife. We are pleased to receive the Whale-Safe 2022 Award, which recognizes our consistent efforts to support the conservation of endangered whale populations. It shows that the actions we are taking in this regard have a tangible and meaningful impact,” said Linden Coppell, Director of Sustainability at MSC Cruises.