Our outreach project NanoWhales has contributed to a major shipping re-route to help save endangered whales

A leading shipping and logistics conglomerate, MSC Group, is the first major shipping company to re-route their ships on the west coast of Greece to reduce the risk of collision with endangered sperm whales in the Mediterranean.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), OceanCare and WWF Greece are working in collaboration with the Pelagos Cetacean Research Institute, which has been studying the eastern Mediterranean sperm whale population since 1998. Their studies have identified the Hellenic Trench as a critical habitat for these whales.

One such study was undertaken in July 2019, when these sperm whales were monitored and studied by our very own Kostas, along with two of our lab alumni, Michelle and Jess, under the guidance of the Pelagos Cetacean Research Institute marine biologists and oceanographers.

After raising over £11,000, Kostas, Michelle and Jess set off on a two week expedition where they lived on a boat across the Hellenic Trench and searched for, identified, listened to and interacted with some of our ocean’s giants.

We are delighted to see that the efforts made on such a remarkable expedition have contributed to the direct change and positive impact of MSCs decision to re-route their ships to conserve ocean and marine wildlife.

For more information on MSC and their decision to re-route their ships, see their press release below which features a still from the drone footage that was captured on the summer expedition!

See more pictures from the 2019 summer expedition on Instagram @hugthewales