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Suggested Citation:"Track and Punish Repeat Violators." 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.
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OVERARCHING ISSUES AFFECTING ANNEX V IMPLEMENTATION 200 district commander for review before processing by the hearing officer according to current procedures (33 C.F.R. 1). By allowing notices to be issued in the field and cases to be settled quickly, the procedures were expected to save time and money, improve the deterrent effect of the sanction, and expedite corrective actions. If the pilot projects are successful, then the final rule will be implemented nationwide. If this occurs, then the Coast Guard could explore using these procedures to handle civil cases5 involving Annex V violations. This approach could be especially effective in the fisheries and recreational boating sectors, which pose special Annex V implementation problems. The ticketing strategy could free the Coast Guard from some extended paperwork duties and make the point among mariners that violators will be prosecuted. A similar method is used by APHIS, which authorizes boarding officers to issue "spot fines" to vessel operators found to violate the standards of the quarantine program. Violators have 72 hours to pay. This authority allows APHIS to enforce its requirements, collect fines, and then release violators quickly so the vessel is not detained for extended periods. Simultaneously, the vessel and the operator are identified throughout the entire APHIS organization, so the vessel can be reinspected at every port if necessary. The spot fine policy is considered an "excellent deterrent" and is credited with improving the attitudes of ship personnel and reducing the number of violations6 (Ronald B. Caffey, assistant to the deputy administrator, APHIS Plant Protection and Quarantine, personal communication to Marine Board staff, July 26, 1994). Track and Punish Repeat Violators To maximize the utility of its past successes in identifying and prosecuting Annex V violators, the Coast Guard could input the names of offending vessel operators and shipping companies into a centralized database. (This approach could be either combined with the ticketing strategy proposed earlier or employed with the current enforcement program.) The database could be used to identify and assess special penalties against those who repeatedly disobey the law. Such a system would be similar to that used by police departments to keep track of motor vehicle operators. 5 The difference between a civil and a criminal case is largely a matter of intent; inadvertent violations are handled under civil law, while willful violations are prosecuted under criminal law and could not be handled through the ticketing process. 6 The annual number of APHIS violations by vessels ranged from 323 to 404 in the fiscal years 1990 to 1993; APHIS collects 98 percent of the fines owed (Ronald B. Caffey, assistant to the deputy administrator, APHIS Plant Protection and Quarantine, personal communication to Marine Board staff, July 26, 1994).

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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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