The Republic of Panama’s proposal to implement four Traffic Separation Schemes for commercial vessels entering and exiting the Panama Canal and ports was approved unanimously by the International Maritime Organization in London, May 23. Based on studies by Smithsonian marine ecologist Hector Guzman, the new shipping lanes are positioned to minimize overlap between shipping routes and humpback whale migration routes and reduce vessel speed four months a year at the peak of the whale overwintering season.

Read more about this success for humpback whales as reported by Smithsonian Insider. More countries need to follow Panama’s example. The GWC works to bring solutions to ship strikes to different geographic regions.