We help nations develop common sense policies to reduce destructive ocean noise.
Oceans are a sonic symphony. Sound is essential to the survival and prosperity of marine life, but human-made ocean noise is threatening this fragile world.
High levels of noise from shipping, oil and gas exploration, naval sonar training and construction are drowning out the ocean’s natural sounds. This diminishes the ability for whales, dolphins and other marine life to communicate, feed, breed and survive. In severe cases, it can lead to injury or even death.
In the Pacific Ocean alone, shipping noise has doubled every decade over the last 40 years. For iconic blue whales, a dramatic rise in ocean noise has drastically reduced their ability to interact with one another, decreasing the distance they can communicate over by as much as 90 percent.
No international standards for the regulation of ocean noise exist today.
Ocean noise and international commerce are connected. When we reduce shipping speeds and optimize ship design, the noise goes down and efficiency goes up.
We work to better understand the problem and set better standards. In Europe for instance, national legislation and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive require countries to demonstrate an improving trend in reducing underwater noise. We collaborate with shipping companies, ports and the International Maritime Organization’s Marine Environment Protection Committee to push progress further around the world.
IFAW has identified a realistic and impactful solution to make the seas safer for marine animals: reduced shipping speeds.
Join us today, to protect whales and their fragile and beautiful ecosystem in European waters.
We are requesting a small change with a big outcome
Globally, we know that by reducing ship speeds by just 10%, we can:
- Reduce ocean noise pollution from shipping by around 40%,
- Reduce the risk of ships colliding with whales by about 50%, and
- Lower greenhouse gas emissions from shipping by 13%.
As a first step towards positive change, we call on the EU institutions to adopt Blue Speeds – an EU-wide measure for the implementation of slower ship speeds (a 75% maximum ship design speed ceiling) – as a condition of entry into European ports.
You can help! Take one minute to protect whales and other marine life, show your support for Blue Speeds by signing our petition.
Help us create a safer and quieter ocean for whales
Ships moving at high speeds create high levels of underwater noise and also put whales at high risk of collision, causing unnecessary stress, injury and death.