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Clean Ships, Clean Ports, Clean Oceans: Controlling Garbage and Plastic Wastes at Sea (1995)

Chapter: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

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Suggested Citation:"National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)." National Research Council. 1995. Clean Ships, Clean Ports, Clean Oceans: Controlling Garbage and Plastic Wastes at Sea. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4769.
Page 11

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 11 foreign-flag vessels. The Coast Guard also should adopt a policy of issuing tickets in civil cases if pilot projects already under way show this streamlined enforcement approach to be successful. In addition, the Coast Guard should request the assistance of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), Minerals Management Service, and state marine police in reporting Annex V violations. Annex V information should be distributed through the Coast Guard's voluntary fishing vessel examination program, and the agency should pursue aggressively its campaign to encourage reports of violations by the public. The Coast Guard and APHIS should collaborate to develop, maintain, and use for enforcement purposes an Annex V record-keeping system incorporating records from vessel boardings, vessel garbage logs, enforcement reports, and, if a receipt system is instituted, port receipts for off-loaded garbage. The Coast Guard should issue a periodic report listing Annex V enforcement actions and the assistance provided by other federal agencies and marine police units in the states. Analyses of data from the Coast Guard/APHIS record-keeping system should be included. Such reports would allow the Congress to evaluate the adequacy of appropriations for Annex V implementation projects and enforcement. Department of State (DOS) The DOS should try to resolve, through IMO or other avenues, the procedural obstacles that block garbage off-loading at some foreign ports. The DOS also should draw attention to the need for an international data collection effort through IMO and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) The EPA should comply with the congressional mandate (recommended earlier) to oversee the port side of the vessel garbage management system. The EPA also should adopt IMO standards for shipboard incinerators. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) With the assistance of EPA, NOAA should establish statistically valid, long-term monitoring programs to gather data on the flux of marine debris, the physical transport and fate of marine debris, accumulation of plastic on beaches and in the benthos, wildlife interactions with debris, and the impact of debris on pristine areas. NOAA also should assure that the results of its monitoring programs are communicated to agencies responsible for Annex V implementation and enforcement. The NMFS should offer financial assistance to fisheries fleets for research on and investments in on-board garbage handling and treatment technology. The

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Marine debris is a serious environmental problem. To do its part, the United States has agreed to abide by the international treaty for garbage control at sea, known as MARPOL 73/78 Annex V.

Clean Ships, Clean Ports, Clean Oceans explores the challenge of translating Annex V into workable laws and regulations for all kinds of ships and boats, from cruise ships to fishing crafts and recreational boats. The volume examines how existing resources can be leveraged into a comprehensive strategy for compliance, including integrated waste management systems and effective enforcement.

Clean Ships, Clean Ports, Clean Oceans describes both progress toward and obstacles to Annex V compliance. The book covers:

  • How shipborne garbage orignates and what happens to garbage discharged into the seas.
  • Effects of discharge on human health, wildlife safety, and aesthetics.
  • Differences in perspective among military, industrial, and recreational seafarers and shoreside facilities.

Clean Ships, Clean Ports, Clean Oceans will be important to marine policymakers, port administrators, ship operations officers, maritime engineers, and marine ecologists.

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