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!

Sign the Blue Speeds petition to support our call to slow speeds and protect whales!

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 these positive outcomes, 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. In October we will ask Members of the European Parliament to sign a pledge supporting our call.


Leave a Reply