Activists: redirect a shipping lane to protect blue whales!

Activists are calling for one of the world’s main shipping lanes to be diverted to protect a population of blue whale.

This population of whales is unique in that they do not appear to migrate, choosing instead to permanently reside in the offshore waters. Sri Lanka.

Unfortunately, their location is in the middle of one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, as the waters are a main route from Asia to Europe via the Suez Canal. This means that the whales are exposed daily to more than 200 gigantic merchant ships and tankers, including many more 300m/985ft long. Activists believe the risk of ship strikes and noise pollution is detrimental to the population of blue whales.

Activists are lobbying the Sri Lankan government to move the road south by a mere 15 nautical miles/27.8 km. This would have a negligible impact on ships but a massive impact on whales.

In a letter delivered by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), Great Whale Conservancy and OceanCarethe organizations said:

“Studies indicate that if a shipping lane were to be established 15 nautical miles south of the current lane, the risk of collision with blue whales would be reduced by 95%.”

While Sharon Livermore of IFAW Recount The Guardian:

“This tiny change in the location of the shipping lane would make a huge difference to the conservation status of these whales. . . . The risk is so high that we know there must be many more deaths than what is being reported…. The blue whale may be the largest animal on the planet – these are around 22 meters long – but they pale in comparison to a 300 meter freighter.

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