The Friend of the Sea programme of the World Sustainability Organization (WSO) has identified Hapag-Lloyd as the international shipping company most committed to minimising the risk of whale ship strikes and presented it with the Whale-Safe Award 2022 for shipping lines for its measures to prevent such accidents. The rating looks at the largest 20 shipping companies and cruise lines operators.
“We are truly honoured to have been granted the Whale-Safe Award,” says Captain Wolfram Guntermann, Director Regulatory Affairs at Hapag-Lloyd. “Hapag-Lloyd is aware of the impact that shipping has on whales and endangered species. To protect them, we reduce our vessels’ speed in many high-risk regions, and we strictly follow the established ATBAs (areas to be avoided), where many whales are found.”
Every year, numerous whales are killed or maimed as a result of shipping accidents. To date, many of the busiest shipping lanes in the world overlap with the routes whales swim through between their feeding and breeding grounds. The Whale-Safe Award aims to boost awareness of this situation within the shipping industry.
“Friend of the Sea strives to amplify the voices of shipping operators who outspokenly recognise the sea, not merely as a convenient venture, but as a resource of intrinsic value that we must respect and protect,” says Paolo Bray, Founder and Director of Friend of the Sea.
Hapag-Lloyd is actively engaged with the WSC and works with it to promote the optimisation of the existing traffic separation scheme (TSS) off the southern coast of Sri Lanka so as to protect blue whales. As part of its sustainability efforts and whale-protection engagement, the carrier participates in various other conservation programmes and partners with a range of non-governmental organizations and authorities, such as the Blue Whales and Blue Skies programme and the ECHO Program to protect orcas.
Friend of the Sea is an international certification for products and services respecting the marine habitat. Today, more than 1,500 companies and 5,000 products from 80 countries carry this label. The organization ranks shipping and cruise lines in order to recognise their engagement to reduce the risk of whale ship collisions. Friend of the Sea conducts its ranking based on a company’s level of engagement, compliance with slowdown areas, initiatives to reduce noise pollution, onboard full-time observation programme, and the appropriate reporting of any whale strikes.
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With a fleet of 257 modern container ships and a total transport capacity of 1.8 million TEU, Hapag-Lloyd is one of the world’s leading liner shipping companies. The Company has around 13,900 employees and 418 offices in 137 countries. Hapag-Lloyd has a container capacity of approximately 3 million TEU – including one of the largest and most modern fleets of reefer containers. A total of 129 liner services worldwide ensure fast and reliable connections between more than 600 ports on all the continents. Hapag-Lloyd is one of the leading operators in the Transatlantic, Middle East, Latin America and Intra-America trades.
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Such statements are based on a number of assumptions, estimates, projections or plans that are inherently subject to significant risks, uncertainties and contingencies. Actual results can differ materially from those anticipated in the Company’s forward-looking statements.