Blue Speeds for Shipping

A simple and effective way to protect whales, marine life and our ocean globally

Today, whales and other marine animals face a great many threats in the ocean. The increasing number of ships travelling across the seas – 200,000 ships transit the Mediterranean each year alone! – is disrupting the underwater lives of these animals and putting their survival at risk.

IFAW has identified a realistic and impactful solution to make the seas safer for marine animals: reduced shipping speeds.

Blue Speeds would introduce a speed ceiling at 75% of maximum ship design speed for existing ships. It’s been estimated that Blue Speeds in Europe would only require ships to slow down by 5 to 10% on average, depending on the ship type. This can reduce the risk of ships colliding with whales, underwater noise and greenhouse gas emissions from the sector, while also allowing the shipping industry to save on fuel consumption!

The benefits of Blue Speeds have been estimated to amount to around 3,4 billion to 4,5 billion euros per year

In addition to the ecological benefits, there is more good news – ship speed reduction also helps the maritime sector save a lot of money: the socioeconomic benefits of Blue Speeds are estimated to be between 3.4 billion and 4.5 billion euros per year.

IFAW is working across the EU to make this small change a reality, so we can keep our seas quieter and safer for whales, while also making our air cleaner.

You can help!

Take one minute to protect whales and other marine life, show your support for Blue Speeds by signing our petition.

The economic costs and benefits of slowing down

Experts from CE Delft, an independent environment and sustainability research firm, have produced a study on the economic and environmental costs/benefits of reducing ship speeds in European waters to protect marine biodiversity.

Download the report.