CMA CGM Group and WHOI Launch Acoustic Monitoring Buoy off Savannah, Georgia to Increase Whale Monitoring Efforts

  • CMA CGM and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have launched a second buoy to help the survival of the North Atlantic right whale, one of the most endangered species in the world.
  • While preserving marine biodiversity, the nearby buoy Savannah, Ga.fills a critical gap along the East Coast.
  • Through this new stage, the CMA CGM Group is strengthening its initiatives to protect the environment and preserve biodiversity in United States and around the world.

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SAVANNAH, Ga., August 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The CMA CGM Group, a global player in maritime, land, air and logistics solutions, in partnership with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has deployed a second acoustic monitoring buoy, aptly named CMA CGM Sea Guardian-Savannah39 miles off Savannah, Ga. The first was launched off Norfolk, Virginia., last month. The buoys are designed to increase detection efforts for North Atlantic right whales along this busy route and thus help protect critically endangered species.

Guardian of the Sea CMA CGM
to help the survival of one of the most endangered animals in the world
and P
marine biodiversity reserve on the east coast of the United States

Although North Atlantic right whales are protected under the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act, serious threats to their survival abound with only around 336 of these great whales remaining on the planet. The installation of the buoys is intended to help right whale survival and will fill a critical gap in monitoring along the East Coast.

The Norfolk and Savannah locations were chosen for the new systems because the ports are among the busiest United States, which often puts ships directly in the path of migrating whales. The wearing of Savannah is one of the largest and fastest growing container terminals in North America and a key strategic partner in the Group’s operations on the East Coast.

CMA CGM and WHOI will develop an industrial consortium for better protection of marine mammals

In addition to assembling and deploying the new buoys to alert mariners to the presence of whales near critical U.S. ports, CMA CGM and WHOI will lead the development of an industry consortium focused on risk reduction to right whales by ships and support for continued operations. digital acoustic monitoring buoys developed by OMSI. This unique collaboration, started in United Statesaims to have a global impact by significantly improving the protection of marine mammals.

A Group committed to preserving biodiversity in the United States and around the world

These buoy launches reaffirm CMA CGM’s commitment to preserving marine biodiversity by United States and around the world. On the east coast of United States and Canada, CMA CGM requires its vessels to reduce their speed to a maximum of 10 knots in certain areas recognized as breeding grounds for cetaceans. On the west coast, CMA CGM has voluntarily committed to the “Green Flag” speed reduction program which has been implemented in the sanctuary near the Santa Barbara Islands. As far as possible, the Group strives to reduce its speeds and thus limit the risk of collision in these cetacean protection sanctuaries.

In addition to speed reduction programs, the CMA CGM Group participates in various projects aimed at revolutionizing the protection of marine mammals through the development of innovative technologies. Examples include:

  • REPCET, a collaborative system based on the density of the mesh created by navigation which allows merchant ships to receive and transmit alerts on the positions of whales in real time.
  • SEA DETECT, a European project that tests innovative solutions for detecting cetaceans and floating objects at sea.
  • CMA CGM has also joined the LIFE-PIAQUO consortium, whose objective is to develop and test various equipment to reduce maritime traffic noise and its impact on aquatic biodiversity.

The CMA CGM Group, as part of its sustainable commitment, no longer transports plastic waste on board its ships, since June 2022. Through its partnership with WHOI and others, the CMA CGM Group continues to make the preservation of biodiversity one of the priorities of its CSR policy and to develop more responsible and fairer trade for everyone and for the planet.

briar woodCMA CGM Sustainable Development Manager – North Americasaid: “At CMA CGM, we act for the planet with a focus on decarbonization and increasing biodiversity in the oceans. The launch of our two Guardian of the Sea CMA CGM buoys is another step in the Group’s roadmap to preserve the health of the ocean and slow climate change, ensuring that future generations of terrestrial and aquatic species can call the planet home.”

Marc Baumgartnerprincipal investigator of the project and WHOI marine ecologistsaid: “This buoy deployment is a great addition to the network of buoys along the East Coast working to protect marine life, including the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale. Savannah being a busy road makes it an important place to use this technology to avoid collisions and protect the species. »

Joanne CaldwellDirector of Risk Management and Sustainability for Georgia Port Authority, said: “Protecting our biodiversity by Georgia is essential to preserve the natural resources from which we benefit. Ports of Georgia congratulates the CMA CGM Group and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution for their work in protecting critically endangered right whales. Ports of Georgia is proud to be part of the industry consortium that focuses on reducing risk to right whales. »


Led by Rodolphe Saadé, the CMA CGM Group, a global player in maritime, land, air and logistics solutions, serves more than 420 ports around the world on 5 continents, with a fleet of 580 ships. The Group transported 22 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) containers in 2021. With its subsidiary CEVA Logistics, a global logistics player which transported 474,000 tonnes of air freight and more than 21 million tonnes of land freight, and its air freight division CMA CGM AIR CARGO, the CMA CGM Group is constantly innovating to offer its customers a complete and ever more efficient offer, thanks to new sea, land, air and logistics solutions.

Resolutely committed to the energy transition of maritime transport and a pioneer in the use of alternative fuels, the CMA CGM Group has set itself a Net Zero Carbon objective for 2050.

Each year, via the CMA CGM Foundation, the Group supports thousands of children as part of its efforts to promote education for all and equal opportunity. The CMA CGM Foundation also intervenes in humanitarian crises requiring an emergency response by calling on the Group’s maritime and logistics expertise to transport humanitarian material throughout the world.

Present in 160 countries through its network of more than 400 offices and 750 warehouses, the Group employs 150,000 people worldwide, including 2,900 in Marseilles where its head office is located. In the United States, CMA CGM, headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia., employs more than 22,000 people. Its subsidiary, American President Lines (APL), operates a fleet of U.S.-flagged ships and supports U.S. territories and U.S. military personnel stationed around the world.

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About Woods Hole Institute of Oceanography

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) is a private, not-for-profit organization Cape Cod, Massachusetts, dedicated to marine research, engineering and higher education. Founded in 1930, its mission is to understand the ocean and its interactions with the Earth as a whole, and to communicate an understanding of the role of the ocean in the changing global environment. WHOI’s pioneering discoveries stem from an ideal combination of science and engineering, which has made it one of the most trusted and technically advanced leaders in fundamental and applied ocean research and exploration. WHOI is known for its multidisciplinary approach, superior ship operations, and unparalleled deep-sea robotic capabilities. We play a leading role in ocean observation and operate the most comprehensive suite of ocean data collection platforms in the world. Top scientists, engineers and students collaborate on more than 800 simultaneous projects around the world, both above and below the waves, pushing the boundaries of knowledge to inform people and policies for a healthier planet. Learn more about