Cargo Ships to Get 2,500-dollar Incentives If They Slow Down for Blue Whales

November 30, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. incentive /ɪnˈsɛn tɪv/ (n.) – something that is given to make someone do something
Example: The cleanest community will receive a huge incentive.

2. prime /praɪm/ (adj.) – most important
Example: The prime focus of the local government is to protect the coral reefs in the area.

3. wash ashore /ˈwɒʃˌəˈʃɔr, ˈwɔʃ-/ (v.) – to be brought onto the shore by waves
Example: Two dead turtles were washed ashore during the storm.

4. collision /kəˈlɪʒ ən/ (n.) – an incident in which a vehicle or a person bumps into something
Example: The collision of two passenger ships killed 500 people.

5. endangered /ɛnˈdeɪn dʒərd/ (adj.) – referring to an animal or plant that is at risk of being extinct
Example: An endangered shark was caught in the net of a fisherman.


Read the text below.
A new program will grant a $2,500 incentive to massive cargo ships that will slow down while passing through the Santa Barbara Channel off the Southern California coast. 

This new initiative, which was launched in July by an environmental group, is backed by federal and local officials. The program will run for only four months during the prime whale feeding season in the area.

The measure aims to address two environmental concerns: air pollution and blue whale safety. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) policy analyst Sean Hastings, the estimated population of blue whales in the Santa Barbara Channel is around 2,500. Whales are usually found washed ashore because of blunt force trauma from ship collisions. Just recently, one dead fin whale was found on the shore of Port Hueneme [wahy-NEE-mee].

The six participating shipping companies will have to reduce their normal cruising speed from 14-18 knots [nots] to just 12 knots. Per trip, they will be paid $2,500. While this amount is not enough to cover the time the companies will lose, the environmental group hopes that the shipping companies would appreciate this bonus while helping conserve the blue whales.

Marine conservation analyst Kristi Birney [BER-nee] said that slowing down ships can be good in lessening air pollution, protecting endangered species, and promoting human health.

The speed reduction incentive program is expected to lower the collisions of whales with approaching ships and therefore provide a more protected environment for whales and cleaner air for humans.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         What can be the possible impact of the speed reduction initiative to the participating shipping companies? Kindly discuss with your tutor.
·         How can the organizers encourage other shipping companies to participate in this program?

Discussion B

·         Why do you think it is necessary to preserve endangered species? Please explain your answer.
·         As an individual, how can you help preserve endangered animals?

November 30, 2014