Panama Canal Reveals Speed Limits to Protect Whales

WhalesIllustration; Source: Pexels under CC0 Creative Commons license

The Panama Canal is to implement speed limits to protect whales, dolphins and other large aquatic mammals, during their nearby seasonal migration.

Starting August 1 and until November 30, 2019, the authority would promote the implementation of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) annual recommendations on speed and maritime transit that would see ships sail at a speed of not more than 10 knots in specified areas.

“These measures seek not only to protect cetaceans from collisions with vessels, but also to promote an orderly management of the ocean and its resources,” said Administrator Jorge L. Quijano.

These recommendations are included in the Maritime Traffic Organization publication issued by the IMO that aims to increase navigation safety in converging zones and areas of high-traffic density, or where the freedom of movement of vessels is limited due to space restrictions, obstacles to navigation, depth limitations, unfavorable weather conditions, exploitation of fishery resources or sensitive coastal and marine areas flagged as important for the protection of species and their habitats.

The above initiative is part of the Panama Canal’s broader efforts to incentivize environmental stewardship and includes watershed conservation initiatives, innovative water-saving basins, and other programs aimed at implementing technologies and standards to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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