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Alliance Between Business & Conservationists Forged in Sri Lanka to Save Blue Whales

March 05, 2019 |

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“When the feeding grounds of blue whales overlap with busy shipping lanes, business interests often supersede those of the endangered marine mammals.

But in Sri Lanka, an unusual alliance has been forged: conservationists and shipping companies have aligned in a bid to move the heavily-trafficked lane about 28 kilometers (17 miles) away to help avoid collisions between whales and freighters. The only holdout is Sri Lanka, which has so far declined to sign off on the proposal, jeopardizing the future there of the biggest animal ever known to have lived on the planet, scientists say.

The hundreds of blue whales in Sri Lankan waters—marine biologists estimate there are 600 to 1,500—feed on tiny shrimp in the , and are also believed to mate and give birth nearby. Shipping executives say they would gladly relocate the traffic corridor, recognizing their ships would be safer in waters not already clogged with fishing vessels, whale-watching boats and the whales themselves, which can grow to more than 33 meters (100 feet), more than twice the length of a Tyrannosaurus Rex dinosaur…”

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