The Dark Side of Ocean Freight: How it Harms Whale Populations

Ocean Vessel Next To Majestic WhaleOcean freight is a major player in our global economy. It is responsible for transporting a large portion of the world's goods, making everyday products accessible to people worldwide. However, the industry has a dark side that is often overlooked - its impact on marine life, particularly whales. In this blog post, we will explore how ocean freight harms whale populations and what we can do to help.

Firstly, it's important to note that whales are incredibly important to our oceans' ecosystems. They play a critical role in maintaining a healthy marine environment. Whales have high carbon capture potential due to their size, and their waste also contributes to healthy phytoplankton populations; phytoplankton provides about 50% of Earth’s total oxygen. Unfortunately, the noise pollution generated by ocean freight has a significant impact on whales. According to the MarineBio Conservation Society, "whales rely on sound to communicate, navigate, and locate food. Loud noises from ships can interfere with these activities, causing stress and disorientation. In extreme cases, it can even lead to strandings and death." Ocean freight contributes to lower whale populations, which in turn harms our air quality.

Secondly, ocean freight is responsible for a large portion of marine pollution. The International Maritime Organization estimates that "ships are responsible for approximately 18-30% of the total nitrogen oxide and 9% of the total sulfur oxide emitted into the atmosphere globally." These pollutants can have severe health consequences for whales. For example, nitrogen oxide can cause respiratory problems, while sulfur oxide can lead to reproductive issues.

So, what can we do to help? One solution is to buy products that are made domestically. This reduces the need for long-distance shipping, which in turn reduces the impact of ocean freight on whale populations. By supporting local businesses and industries, we can help to reduce our carbon footprint and protect our oceans' ecosystems. At Hazel Park, all of our products are produced domestically. We also go one step further, and strive to source our raw materials and packaging here too. This keeps our supply chain footprint as small as possible, reducing the need for ocean freight.

Ocean freight has a significant impact on whale populations. The noise pollution and marine pollution generated by the industry can cause stress, disorientation, and even death for these magnificent creatures. As consumers, we have the power to make a difference. By choosing to buy products that are made domestically, we can help to reduce our impact on the oceans and protect the whales that call them home.


  • MarineBio Conservation Society. (n.d.). The Effects of Ocean Noise Pollution on Marine Mammals.
  • International Maritime Organization. (2019). Shipping and Climate Change.
  • United Nations Environment Programme. (2019). Protecting Whales to Protect the Planet.