[MARMAM] Two Papers on Vessel Strikes of Whales

Greg Silber greg.silber at noaa.gov
Thu May 17 12:36:59 PDT 2012


Two recent papers on reducing vessel collisions with large whales are available.

Silber, G.K, A.S.M. Vanderlaan, A. Tejedor Arceredillo, L. Johnson,
C.T. Taggart, M.W. Brown, S. Bettridge, and R. Sagarminaga.  2012.
The role of the International Maritime Organization in reducing vessel
threat to whales:  process, options, action and effectiveness. Marine
Policy

is at:   http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X12000528
    (abstract below)

and

Silber, G.K. and S. Bettridge.  2012.  An assessment of the Final Rule
to implement vessel speed restrictions to reduce the threat of vessel
collisions with North Atlantic right whales.  NOAA Technical
Memorandum NMFS-OPR-48.

is available at:
http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/pdfs/shipstrike/assessment_nmfsopr48.pdf




Silber, G.K, A.S.M. Vanderlaan, A. Tejedor Arceredillo, L. Johnson,
C.T. Taggart, M.W. Brown, S. Bettridge, and R. Sagarminaga.  2012.
The role of the International Maritime Organization in reducing vessel
threat to whales:  process, options, action and effectiveness. Marine
Policy

Abstract

Ocean-going vessels present a measurable threat of lethal collision
with many marine species worldwide, notably large whale species of
which many are endangered. Various modifications to conventional
vessel operations have been recently used to reduce the threat. Some
of the modifications have been instituted by coastal states as a
result of their adoption by the International Maritime Organization
(IMO) — a specialized agency of the United Nations that is the
recognized authority for international maritime shipping interests and
their safety of navigation at sea. We describe the processes through
which coastal states can approach the IMO to seek review and adoption
of environmental conservation proposals involving international
shipping. We also provide a description of vessel navigation
modifications in specific geographic areas where IMO-adopted measures
to protect large whales have been implemented — there are only 10 such
cases and we describe each. We then address the methods that can and
have been used to assess the effectiveness of such measures. As
weighed against the goals of the modifications by estimating the
ensuing reduced risk to whales, actions taken are generally regarded
as being successful in reducing the risk, but to varying degrees. We
conclude that the IMO can be a powerful entity in providing solutions
to a range of marine environmental and conservation problems. When
used in concert with related efforts such as mariner education, the
IMO, and the range of navigational measures available to it, is an
effective forum through which coastal states can pursue large whale
conservation objectives without unduly compromising the activities of
shipping interests.




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