Twenty-three shipping companies off the California coast participated in the "Protecting Blue Whales and Blue Skies" vessel speed reduction program last year according to a Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District press release.
The program contributes to cleaner air, safer whales, and a quieter ocean as ship strikes are a major threat to whales globally and to the recovery of endangered blue, fin, and humpback whales in California waters.
Companies are recognized for their vessels transiting at ten knots or less in the San Francisco Bay Area and the Central and Southern California region.
The program's region extends from Point Arguello in Santa Barbara County to waters near Port Hueneme and Dana Point, in Orange County.
The voluntary incentive program ran from May 1, through Dec. 15, last year.
Participation was greater than in any previous year.