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CSL Group receives a California award for its efforts to protect whales

August 31, 2023

The CSL Group is among eight companies that have merited the top Whale Tail Award for reducing speeds off the California Coast as part of the 2022 Protecting Blue Whales and Blue Skies program.

The voluntary incentive program ran from May 1 through December 15, 2022. Twenty-three shipping companies participated, transiting at 10 knots or less in the San Francisco Bay Area and the Southern California region. The program’s Southern California region extends from Point Arguello (in Santa Barbara County) to waters near Dana Point (by the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach).

Shipping companies obtained recognition and financial awards based on the percentage of distance traveled by their vessels through the Vessel Speed Reduction (VSR) zones at 10 knots or less and with an average speed of 12 knots or less.

The three award tiers are Sapphire (85-100% of fleet total distance in VSR zones traveled at 10 knots or less), Gold (60-84%), and Blue Sky (35-59%). Automatic Identification System (AIS) transponders on each ship transmit the vessel’s speed and location. AIS data was analyzed for each fleet, and the company’s performance was classified by tier. Companies that performed at the Gold or Sapphire level were offered a financial incentive.

CSL Group reached the top Sapphire level, alongside OOCL, MSC, Swire Shipping, Yang Ming, COSCO Shipping, NYK Ro-Ro, and Wallenius Wilhelmsen.

The 10-knot target complements the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Coast Guard, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requests for all vessels (300 gross tons or larger) to reduce speeds to lower air emissions during the months of peak air pollution and when endangered blue, humpback, and fin whale are in abundance in region in order to protect these whales from ship collisions.

Learn more about the Protecting Blue Whales and Blue Skies program


📷 Anastasia Kunz, NOAA