Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Marine pollution from ships - Quick facts

Marine pollution refers to pollution of our seas and oceans. Ships are big sources of marine pollution, and this issue still isn't getting enough attention on global scale.

Ships can pollute our oceans and seas in many ways. Most people will probably first think about oil spills when talking about the marine pollution from ships.

Oil spills are extremely difficult to clean up, they kill many marine animals, and what is worst of all their effects last for many years.

Our seas and oceans still represent the perfect dumping grounds for many ships that intentionally discharge illegal wastes despite international and domestic regulations strictly prohibiting such actions.

Ships are also big contributor to noise pollution that disturbs marine ecosystems.

Increased shipping is also connected with invasive species, for instance water from ballast tanks can spread harmful algae, jellyfish and many other species that disturb native marine ecosystems.

Several studies have confirmed that exhaust emissions from ships are among the most important sources of air pollution, accounting to 18-30% of all nitrogen oxide and 9% of sulfur oxide pollution.

Tourism is also one of the factors that significantly contributes to marine pollution. The cruise ships are tremendous generators of different waste that ends up in our oceans and seas.

Large share of the current regulation is inadequate to deal with the marine pollution coming from ships. The only notable regulation that deals with regulating marine pollution from ships is the Marine Pollution Treaty, Honolulu.

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