TAIWAN-based carrier Evergreen Line has been recognized for its voluntary environmental and ecological protection program to protect the whale population off the California coast and reduce emissions, the company reported.
The program, which was organized by the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach with the support of the Environmental Defense Center, ran from July to November last year and focused on the busy Santa Barbara Channel, which is heavily populated by blue, humpback, and fin whales during that part of the year.
Vessels enrolled in the program were required to reduce speeds to 12 knots or less within 95 nautical miles of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
The result was a drastic reduction in the number of whale strikes by ships, as well as the elimination of more than 1,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases and 27 tons of smog-forming nitrogen oxides (NOx).
Kristi Birney, Marine Conservation Analyst for the Santa Barbara-based Environmental Defense Center, said,
“When you slow ships down you provide whale conservation and cleaner air for us to breathe here on shore.”
The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will use the data gathered from last year’s program to update their joint Clean Air Action Plan, the port authority said in a statement.
Evergreen Line is a frequent visitor to Philippine ports, with a regular schedule connecting the ports of Manila and Batangas with Kaohsiung, Taiwan, and Incheon, South Korea.