[MARMAM] Ship strikes and the IWC

simo.pani at inwind.it simo.pani at inwind.it
Fri May 5 00:00:29 PDT 2017


Dear Marmam friends and colleagues,


with this message we would like to provide our yearly update 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: https://portal.iwc.int/shipstrike. 


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 has recently received a thorough revision and has a complete new design, to make it more user-friendly. 


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: http://iwc.int/ship-strikes.




Simone Panigada - panigada at inwind.it

Fabian Ritter - ritter at m-e-e-r.de


IWC ship strikes coordinators
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