[MARMAM] Ship strikes and the IWC

Simone Panigada simo.pani at inwind.it
Wed May 6 07:14:02 PDT 2015

Dear MARMAM friends and colleagues,

with this message we would like to update you on the issue of ship 
strikes (collisions between ships and cetaceans) and at the same time 
enquire about your knowledge of incidents. Also, and most 
importantly, we want to remind everybody about the global IWC ship 
strike database.

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) is addressing the problem 
of ship strikes since many years and has taken a leading role in this 
issue (see http://iwc.int/ship-strikes). It's Scientific Committee 
(SC) considers methods of estimating the number of whales killed from 
ship strikes; it is also fostering the dialogue between researchers, 
authorities and the shipping industry and thus takes part in 
developing mitigation measures. The Conservation Committee (CC) has 
established a dedicated Ship Strikes Working Group to develop a 
policy framework for mitigation of ship strike events and to 
co-ordinate work between member governments. Both SC and CC provide a 
forum to report ship strike cases, and the measures being taken 
within countries to reduce and record incidences of ship strikes.

The IWC is also working in conjunction with other international 
bodies such as the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) as well 
as with shipping associations, NGOs and regional groups.

The IWC has developed a global database to report collisions between 
vessels and whales. The database is open for anyone to submit data on 
collision events, including both information on whales (e.g., 
species, size, observed injuries, etc.) as well as on vessels. The 
objectives of the database are to deliver estimates of mortality and 
injuries, to help detect trends over time, to allow better modeling 
of risk factors (e.g., vessel type, speed, size), and to identify 
high risk or unsuspected problem areas. The database provides an 
on-going facility for collecting new information, and most 
importantly, it relies on scientists and mariners providing 
information. Therefore, any report of a ship strike is particularly important.

With this communication, we are looking for new records and would 
like to invite any of you with information regarding collision cases 
or evidence of animals with clear sign of ship strike to compile the 
online database at: 

Such information can come from witness reports you may have heard of, 
but also from (your own) scientific publications, etc.

Please note that the database is currently undergoing a thorough 
revision and will have a complete new design, to make it more 
user-friendly. Soon, the new version will be online, and we will keep 
the MARMAM community posted!

We would like to thank you for your cooperation; please do not 
hesitate to get in touch with us in case you need further information 
or any assistance.

Please visit the IWC ship strike website to find out more at: 

Simone Panigada - panigada at inwind.it
Fabian Ritter - ritter at m-e-e-r.de

IWC ship strikes coordinators
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