Video: For over a decade, Irving Oil has partnered with the New England Aquarium on protection and education efforts for the North Atlantic right whale, one of the most endangered whale species on Earth.
Over a decade of science and industry working together
continues to help rare whale species recover
SAINT JOHN, June 6, 2012 /CNW/ - This year marks the 10th anniversary of the International Maritime Organization's adoption of
re-routed shipping lanes in the Bay of Fundy, a precedent setting
initiative achieved through the collaboration of industry, led by
Irving Oil, scientists from the New England Aquarium, government,
academics and environmental groups for the protection of one of the
world's most endangered whale species, the North Atlantic right whale.
This collaborative model between science and industry proactively
approached regulators to re-route the shipping lanes away from the
right whales' feeding grounds and habitat, reducing the risk of vessel
collisions with the rare whale species by 90 percent. This marked the
first time shipping lanes had been re-routed for the protection of an
endangered species, anywhere in the world.
Though there have never been any known vessel -whale collisions
involving Irving Oil ships, the company recognized the need to
proactively get involved in finding a solution to conserve the right
whale for future generations. Through investigating preventative
solutions, Irving Oil began collaborating with leading right whale
researchers at the New England Aquarium, and this unique partnership
has continued for over 15 years.
"Our world is changing so rapidly and as we foster this growth, at the
same time we need to carefully balance the impact we have on our
environment, particularly species which are endangered," said John
Logan, Manager of Project Management and Controls, Irving Oil. "That's
why a model such as this, where all parties are at the table working
toward sustainable solutions, works so well. Fifteen years ago, I was
asked by our company's leadership to become proactively involved in
finding ways to protect the North Atlantic right whale. Our partnership
with whale researchers may be unlikely, but it's produced strong
results for this endangered species."
Today Irving Oil and the New England Aquarium work together on ongoing
stewardship efforts, including education and research to track the
right whales' population recovery. Over the past decade, the North
Atlantic right whale population has grown by an average of 2 percent
annually to over 450 whales, as a result of the shipping lanes movement
and other conservation measures.
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 designated right whale critical habitat areas, and retrofitted
its ships to be double-hulled, as a further precaution against spills.
"The future of the North Atlantic right whale is dependent on the
long-term relations we're developing today between the scientists and
industries like Irving Oil to promote recovery of the right whale,"
said Dr. Moira Brown, Senior Scientist at the New England Aquarium's
John H. Prescott Marine Laboratory. "It's an important example of
setting aside differences and focusing on where we can collectively
have a positive impact. We believe that our collaborative model of
science and industry working together over the long term can be applied
to other conservation and environmental issues."
"One lesson I've learned," Logan added, "is never underestimate the
power of unlikely partnerships. Irving Oil's partnership with the New
England Aquarium shows that it's possible to find the kind of balance
we need in society so we can continue to progress forward while we
maintain and protect our environment."
View a video on Irving Oil's and the New England Aquarium's efforts on
behalf of North Atlantic Right Whale preservation:
About Irving Oil
Irving Oil was founded in 1924 and is a privately owned regional
refining and marketing company with a history of long-term partnerships
and relationships. Irving Oil operates Canada's largest refinery, in
Saint John, NB, which is located 65 miles north of the US border and
has reached production rates in excess of 300,000 barrels per day. The
refinery exports over 80 per cent of its production to the US and
accounts for 75 per cent of Canada's gasoline exports to the US and 19
per cent of all US gasoline imports. In 2003, Irving Oil became the
first oil company to receive a US Environmental Protection Agency Clean
Air Excellence Award, for its clean gasoline. For more information
about Irving Oil, visit www.irvingoil.com
Video with caption: "Video: For over a decade, Irving Oil has partnered with the New England Aquarium on protection and education efforts for the North Atlantic right whale, one of the most endangered whale species on Earth.". Video available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJRAIK-F9DY
SOURCE Irving Oil Operations Ltd.
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