SPERMWHALES IN THE HELLENIC TRENCH: ENCOURAGING INDICATIONS
According to the records of the Hellenic Coastguard, as of February ’21 there have been no reports of deaths or injuries to sperm whales hit by ships at the Hellenic Trench while 11 incidents occurred between 2012 and February 2021.
The Hellenic Chamber of Shipping and the Secretary General of Ports, Port Policy and Maritime Investments Mr. Evangelos Kyriazopoulos took the initiative and the Minister of Maritime Affairs and Insular Policy mediated towards the Ministry of National Defence (Hellenic Navy) and the Hydrographic Service issued in February 2021 notices to mariners for the existence of marine mammals in specified areas calling for their attention for the detection of those mammals and the avoidance of collisions.
In collaboration with the Secretary General of Ports, Port Policy and Maritime Investments Mr. Evangelos Kyriazopoulos and the Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association (HELMEPA), HCS monitors the effectiveness of the notices to mariners cooperating with marine traffic while maritime groups (MSC, CONTSHIPS, EURONAV and other) have announced the adherence to the notices.
This development should not cause complacency but on the contrary should encourage the shipping community to intensify efforts for the protection of the marine environment.