Taipei--Evergreen Marine Corp. has received recognition for its performance in a voluntary environmental and ecological protection program aimed at reducing the greenhouse gas emissions of vessels and avoiding collisions with whales by encouraging slower sailing speeds, the Taiwanese company said in a statement Monday.
Evergreen Line was honored in September 2016 with an environmental protection award by the Port Authority of Los Angeles in recognition of its excellent performance in the 2015 Vessel Speed Reduction Program led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the United States, the company said.
The award ceremony took place on Jan. 23, it added.
According to Evergreen, vessels enrolled in the program, which ran from July 1 to Nov. 15 in 2016, were required to reduce speeds to 12 knots or less within 95 nautical miles of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
This practice was aimed at helping to minimize greenhouse gas emissions and thus reduce the vessels' influence on air quality within the port community, the statement said.
The result was a reduction of more than 1,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases and 27 tons of the smog-forming air pollutant nitrogen oxide (Nox), it added.
Evergreen said that with thousands of vessels sailing through the Santa Barbara Channel each year, ship strikes are unfortunately a major threat to the population of endangered whales, including blue, humpback and fin whales, in that region.
"Slowing ship speeds has proved to reduce the risk of such fatal strikes," the statement said.
"When you slow ships down you provide whale conservation and cleaner air for us to breathe here on shore," Kristi Birney, marine conservation analyst for the Santa Barbara-based Environmental Defense Center, one of the backers of the initiative, was cited as saying in the statement.
The institutions that supported the program also include the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District, NOAA's Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, Ventura County Air Pollution Control District, National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, and the Volgenau Foundation.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel