Sakhalin Energy and the Western Gray Whale Advisory Panel, convened by the World Conservation Union (IUCN), have agreed to work together on seismic surveys and oil spill prevention, preparedness and response. These are some of the threats to the critically endangered Western Gray Whales from the oil and gas development in the whales’ feeding area, off Sakhalin Island.
The second meeting of the Western Gray Whale Advisory Committee took place from 15 to 18 April 2007 in St-Petersburg, Russia. In addition to the agreed work on oil spill issues and seismic surveys, which may disturb the whales in their feeding grounds, improved data sharing between different research groups was also discussed at the meeting.
Two task forces have been established to look further into these issues, comprising independent scientists and researchers working for the oil industry. These initiatives pave the way for promising cooperation between business and the conservation sectors, a key means to achieving environmentally sustainable and socially responsible development.