MSC Cruises has partnered with marine conservation charity ORCA to reduce the likelihood of collisions with whales, dolphins and porpoises in oceans around the world by using a comprehensive ship strike mitigation program for the cruise line’s deck officers.
Bridge Officers aboard MSC Bellissima are the first to participate in the online training program. The ship is sailing in the Mediterranean from her homeport of Genoa and was chosen as the pilot vessel based on her navigation through the Pelagos Sanctuary, which covers 33,783 square miles of water and 1,256 miles of coastline containing numerous marine species.
Training To Reduce Whale Strikes
The plan is to educate those who work on the ship’s bridge about the marine mammals they may encounter on any given voyage, as well as the best practices for avoiding potential ship strikes.
“By working together with ORCA we are able to play an important role in protecting the seas for future generations. We are committed to supporting the health of our oceans and believe partnering with experts to introduce bespoke training and education is a positive step forward.” said Captain Minas Myrtidis, VP Environmental Operations & Compliance, MSC Cruises.
MSC Cruises Implements Training Program
Once the MSC Bellissima trial is completed, the e-learning course will be rolled out across MSC Cruises’ fleet of 21 ships and added to newbuild MSC Euribia – which is due to launch in June for Northern Europe voyages.
The ship, like the line’s most recent vessels, will be fitted with a system that adds air bubbles around the propeller blades to balance the pressure environment. This and other measures, including insulation to reduce noise and vibration from mechanical equipment, help to minimize the negative impact on the marine environment, especially sea mammals.
In 2022, MSC Cruises re-routed its ships off the west coast of Greece to reduce the risk of collision with endangered sperm whales in the Mediterranean.