North Atlantic Right Whale Population Continues to Grow
Tracking of highly endangered species reveals highest population since
tracking began in 1980
SAINT JOHN, NB, June 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – Irving Oil is celebrating the 10(th) anniversary of the re-routing of the shipping lanes in the Bay of
Fundy. This precedent-setting initiative, along with other conservation
measures, is credited with helping the subsequent growth occurring
within the right whale population. Over the past decade, the North
Atlantic right whale population has grown by an average of two percent
annually, to more than 500 whales.
The re-routing of shipping lanes was achieved through collaboration of
industry, led by Irving Oil, scientists from the New England Aquarium,
academics at Dalhousie University, the Canadian government,
professional mariners, and environmental groups.
The shipping lane change moved ships away from a significant feeding
ground and nursery habitat area, reducing the risk of vessel collisions
with the rare whale species in the vessel traffic lanes by 90 per cent.
“A highlight of my career has been working with Irving Oil to protect
the North Atlantic right whale, and we’re now seeing the benefits of
our partnership; it’s making a difference,” says Moira Brown, Lead
Researcher of the Right Whale Program at the New England Aquarium.
“This endangered species continues to grow and recover.”
Since Irving Oil began its partnership with the New England Aquarium
over 15 years ago, 297 calves have been born – a significant and
promising development for this endangered species.
“We are deeply committed to the environment and to the communities we
work in,” says Paul Browning, President and CEO of Irving Oil. “We
believe that through cooperation between industry, government, academia
and community leaders, we can simultaneously support the local economy,
protect our environment, and drive employment. Our long-term commitment
to the Right Whale and to the New England Aquarium is one we cherish
deeply, and is something our employees are proud of. We’re delighted by
the results of this partnership, and it represents how Irving Oil
strives to perform in everything we do.”
Previous to the movement of the shipping lanes, vessel strikes were a
leading cause of death for the North Atlantic right whale. However,
since 2003, no known large vessel collisions with the whales have
occurred in the Bay of Fundy. As part of the program, Irving Oil
ordered its own chartered ships to operate at slower speeds in the
newly identified right whale critical habitat areas in the Bay of Fundy
and south of Nova Scotia, and retrofitted its ships to be
double-hulled, as a further precaution against spills.
About Irving Oil
Irving Oil is a privately owned regional energy and marketing company
that provides Eastern Canada and New England with high-quality products
and customer service. Founded in 1924 and based in Saint John, New
Brunswick, Irving Oil maintains a strong tradition of committed
community service and partnerships through programs in healthcare, the
environment, education and sports. For more information about Irving
Oil and its community programs, please visit us at www.irvingoil.com or follow us at facebook.com/irvingoil.
SOURCE Irving Oil