A new eco-label will certify freight and cruise companies that take steps to keep their ships from colliding with whales. To earn the label, companies must have 24/7 monitoring aboard their ships, share whale observation data through a digital platform, have procedures in place to act if a whale is sighted, and follow local speed and navigation rules. The challenge ahead is to persuade companies to sign up and comply — a task that will come down to pressure from customers and may be easier for some kinds of maritime companies than others, experts say. In the 1980s, video of dolphins dying in fishing nets sparked a public boycott of tuna and the development of “dolphin-safe” labeling programs for canned tuna that have become ubiquitous in many countries. Now, one organization wants to use that model to protect whales from collisions with ships. The Italian NGO World Sustainability Organization launched the new “Whale-Safe” label in March via its Friend of the Sea project, which certifies fisheries, aquaculture, and tourism efforts as sustainable. Run-ins with ships are a major cause of death and injury for whales. An estimated 80 whales die from ship collisions off the western U.S. annually. In […]

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