News

A giant whale in Brussels asking for ships to slow down

30/01/2024

On January 25th, IFAW and its inflatable whale Wilbur came in front of the European Parliament in Brussels to call members of the Parliament to support Blue Speeds for Shipping. Many people passing by, including MEPs, expressed interest in IFAW’s initiative to set an EU speed ceiling for vessels to protect marine mammals and signed our petition. Implementing Blue Speeds would be a triple win – shipping companies, the European Union, and marine mammals all stand to benefit.

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The European Parliament hears us and calls for action

30/11/2023

In recent months, IFAW has worked on adding underwater noise to the revision of the Ship-Source Pollution Directive. This legislation mainly focuses on the discharge of oil and noxious liquid substances and does not cover other forms of pollution. The revised version adds some forms of pollution but is still short on covering all of them. The Commission and the European Parliament are now at least in agreement that underwater noise pollution should be adequately addressed and expressed the will to do so. The European Parliament also believes this legislation should be open for more flexible revisions to align with European laws, international agreements and the latest data and scientific findings. We will continue to advocate for Blue Speeds in the EU institutions to limit underwater noise and ship strikes

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Industry roundtable: Blue Speeds for Shipping

24/10/2023

On 18th October 2023, IFAW organised a roundtable discussion with around 30 representatives from the shipping industry to discuss the topics threats to marine life and ship speed reduction, and to delve into the Blue Speeds concept and the aspects of its practical implementation. The meeting led to an enriching discussion among participants, who attended in person at the Port Authority of Bilbao, Spain, or participated online from across Europe. The European Commission provided insights into the EU legal framework for underwater noise and ship speed reduction, particularly in the context of the upcoming revision of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.

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The European Parliament hears us and calls for action

30/11/2023

In recent months, IFAW has worked on adding underwater noise to the revision of the Ship-Source Pollution Directive. This legislation mainly focuses on the discharge of oil and noxious liquid substances and does not cover other forms of pollution. The revised version adds some forms of pollution but is still short on covering all of them. The Commission and the European Parliament are now at least in agreement that underwater noise pollution should be adequately addressed and expressed the will to do so. The European Parliament also believes this legislation should be open for more flexible revisions to align with European laws, international agreements and the latest data and scientific findings. We will continue to advocate for Blue Speeds in the EU institutions to limit underwater noise and ship strikes.

Read the report


Experts meet to discuss ship speed reduction - Club IFAW

10/07/2023

IFAW France organised a roundtable on the “Blue Speeds for Shipping” campaign on June 5 in Paris to discuss ship speed reduction, in presence of Olivier Adam, scientist expert in bioacoustics and professor at Sorbonne University, Antoine Person, Deputy director of the shipping company Louis Dreyfus Armateurs and Aurore Morin, Blue Speeds campaign manager at IFAW.

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New opportunities for the EU to combat underwater noise pollution

30/06/2023

The European Commission is updating European rules on pollution from ships.In early June 2023, the Commission published its proposal for the revision of European Directive 2005/35/EC, which deals with this issue. IFAW is pleased that our recommendation to recognise underwater noise as a pollutant has been acknowledged.

However, we find it short-sighted that the Commission proposes that new types of pollution can only be included in European regulations in the future, if they are covered by the international UN convention that deals with pollution from ships (MARPOL). While updated MARPOL Annexes for new pollutants are needed, this involves a very long process and there is urgent need to reduce pollution from ships in European waters now. Thus, we believe the European Commission is shifting away from its own responsibility to protect European waters from all sources of pollution.

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Introduction of Blue Speeds at the European Parliament

25/10/2022

On October 25th, 2022, IFAW organised an event at the European Parliament to present an EU-wide solution for the shipping industry to reduce underwater noise pollution and ship strikes. This event was co-hosted by the members of the European Parliament César Luena (S&D) und Jutta Paulus (Greens) who are supportive of the Blue Speeds campaign. After an introductory video-message by Virginijus Sinkevičius, the EU Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, an expert from CE Delft, an independent environment and sustainability research firm, presented the new study funded by IFAW on the economic and environmental cost/benefits of reducing ship speeds in EU waters to protect marine biodiversity. Other speakers included representatives from the European Commission, the Spanish Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the shipping industry. IFAW experts closed the event presenting our call for EU Blue Speeds: the EU-wide application of 75% ship design speed limitation to ships berthing in European ports.

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