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Shipping, shopping, and whales

It’s a busy ocean out there!

The frequency of high-speed shipping vessels navigating the oceans has increased around the globe to meet our never-ending love of shopping and demand for quick access to consumer goods. Unfortunately, increased shipping traffic can pose serious threats to the health of whale populations, from a higher risk of deadly collisions to more noise pollution and disturbance to whales and their sensitive calves.

Shipping traffic increased an astonishing 300% between 1992 and 2013 and continues to increase year over year, so implementing solutions to lower risks for whales is a big priority.

Diverting shipping traffic from designated sensitive areas where whales feed, migrate, give birth, and nurse could immediately reduce collision risks, and since mothers already have fewer and fewer calves, any extra protections to help them grow to maturity are strongly welcomed. Encouraging the use of noise reduction technologies on ships will help whales from becoming disoriented, allow for better communication in pods, and protect them from hearing impairment.

The ocean is a busy place, but through collaboration, technology, and smart regulation, it’s plenty big enough for shipping, commerce, and our wondrous whales. A National Right Whale Marine Sanctuary is one big step we can take as conscious consumers to help make sure we balance our wants and needs with the health of our whales, marine animals, and our entire ocean ecosystem.

Steady on,


Posted on May 18, 2024.

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Save the Right Whales

The North Atlantic right whale is a critically endangered whale. In the 1970s, with the first whale watches, there were estimated to be 350 right whales, and the population was growing. Then, in 2017, right whales took a turn for the worse. By 2020, the population had fallen to 338 right whales, with only 50-70 breeding females. We must now do more to protect and restore right whales.


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