Friend of the Sea launches new Whale-Safe Certification and releases Whale Ship Strikes Dossier

The launch includes free video and guidelines for sustainable maritime shipping


Friend of the Sea, a program of the World Sustainability Organization, has launched a new Whale-Safe certification and released a Whale Ship Strikes Dossier. A whale ship strike is a collision, sometimes lethal, between any type of boat and a whale. Friend of the Sea’s Whale-Safe program aims at motivating shipping operators to reduce the risk of whale ship strikes.The Whale-Safe label is awarded to those shipping operators which implement measures to prevent whale ship-strikes: a combination of thermal cameras, online reporting systems, shift in shipping lanes.

Whales can be difficult to spot for vessel operators because they are not always clearly visible from the surface. Even if the vessel operator can see the whale clearly, there may not be time to take action to avoid the collision. All sizes and types of vessels, from large ships to jet skis, have the potential to get into a collision with a whale.  

Experts estimate that at least 20,000 whales are struck and killed by cargo, cruise, and fishing ships. Fatal collision rates in high-risk areas have almost doubled in the past 40 years and whale populations have been reduced by 50 percent.

The increase in global maritime traffic has resulted in a rise in the number of collisions with marine species, especially dolphins and whales. This remarkable increase in maritime shipping over the last 50 years poses a threat around the globe to several populations of large cetaceans, such as dolphins and whales.
The Whale Ship Strikes Dossier identifies 11 high-risk areas for collisions including Sri Lanka, Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand, and Canary Island, among others.The dossier also indicates 12 species of whale that are among the highest risk populations including the Western North Atlantic Right Whale, and the Blue Whale.
The Whale-Safe logo will finally help shipping operators engaged at protecting whales to be highlighted face their business and consumers customers.” explains Paolo Bray, Founder and Director of Friend of the Sea.
To download the full Whale Ship Strikes dossier and a video on how to stop whale ship strikes, or to sign the Save the Whales petition, visit
To apply for the Whale-Safe logo please write to

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