Proman Shipping AG, subsidiary company of the Proman Group, was yesterday honoured with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s Voluntary Vessel Speed Reduction (VSR) Award.

Ian Meadows Accepting Noaa Vsr Award
L to R: Chris Mobley, Channel Islands NMS; Dan Howard, Cordell Bank NMS; Ian Meadows, Port Manager, GAC North America – Shipping, accepting the award on behalf of Proman Shipping AG; Maria Brown, Greater Farallones NMS.

Proman Shipping AG, subsidiary company of the Proman Group, was yesterday honoured with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s Voluntary Vessel Speed Reduction (VSR) Award. The award, presented at a ceremony in San Francisco, is the highest recognition for companies cooperating with the NOAA’s vessel speed reduction programme to help protect endangered whales in California.

Proman Shipping AG received the award for successfully maintaining maximum speeds of 10 knots or less for 50% or more of their large ships’ total distance within the designated areas for whale protection. The award was accepted by Ian Meadows, Port Manager at GAC North America – Shipping, Proman Shipping’s shipping agent in San Francisco for urea and ammonium nitrate (UAN).

The NOAA’s 2018 Vessel Speed Reduction (VSR) scheme was introduced as an effort to help reduce air pollution, and protect whales from the impact of growing traffic on the shipping lanes around the San Francisco Bay and Santa Barbara Channel. In a voluntary request, NOAA asked all ships carrying cargoes of 300 tonnes or more to travel across designated areas of whale habitat at speeds of 10 knots or less. This has been found to significantly reduce the risk of ship strike, which is one of the leading causes of whale mortality worldwide. The speed reduction minimises the risk of serious injury for whales while offering them a longer reaction time.

Anita Gajadhar, Managing Director of Proman Shipping AG, said: “It is a great honour to receive this award, and a testament to the excellent teamwork and commitment of our ship crews. The San Francisco Bay area is an important feeding ground for several species of endangered whale, and we are proud to play a part in maintaining a healthy local ecosystem.”

David Cassidy, Chief Executive of the Proman Group, said: “This award is a privilege for Proman Shipping AG and the Proman Group. Helping to sustain the environments and communities in which we operate, whether on land or at sea, is deeply rooted within our ethos as a business. I’m proud that our teams are being recognised for these efforts and setting the industry example alongside other reward recipients.”

media@proman.org