Monday, July 12, 2010

Seasonal Changes Bring New Dangers To Shipping

Forget Speed Humps and Cameras Look Out for Whales!
Shipping News Feature

US – The world of shipping can be a mundane place when one is confined to one’s own narrow area of operation. The problems of a transport manager in Luton are not so dissimilar from one holding down the same job in Beijing despite a cultural gulf. Certain areas, like our recent coverage of the difficulties with Progress M-06M however demonstrate what a huge range of activities are covered by the seemingly simple act of transporting freight from one place to another.

The latest batch of hurricane warnings currently seem less severe than in previous years although Tropical Storm Alex probably felt pretty important to anyone in its path through Texas and Mexico recently and with Atlantic and Eastern Pacific regions likely to be subjected to more storms up to the official season conclusion on 30th November it’s best not to relax too much.

The latest danger to look out for is however likely to be one few of us will ever encounter. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) a federal agency dedicated to providing everyone with up to date environmental information from ‘sea floor to the surface of the sun’ have teamed up with the U.S. Coast Guard to establish a Seasonal Voluntary Whale Advisory Zone in the Santa Barbara Channel.

The programme is aimed at all vessels, particularly those exceeding 300 tonnes, asking them to reduce speed when in the channel to less than 10 knots in the hope this will reduce the casualties amongst the seasonal population of Great Blue, Fin, Grey and Humpback whales which can currently be found in the waters off the California coast. The animals are under the protection of federal law and any sightings whatsoever should be reported to the NOAA on 877-SOS-WHALe (877-767-9425) or to the Coast Guard. This applies particularly to sightings of dead or injured whales and to any collisions.

Photo:- Blue Whale Sounding off the Coast.