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Suggested Citation:"Monitor Garbage Handling Practices." 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 201

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OVERARCHING ISSUES AFFECTING ANNEX V IMPLEMENTATION 201 For example, a point system could be established; the number of points assessed would vary based on the degree of seriousness of the infraction (with overboard disposal of plastics carrying the highest penalty). Each time a new violation is detected, the names of the vessel operator and shipping company could be checked against the database. Any vessel operator or shipping company accumulating a threshold number of points could be required to pay a heavy fine upon entering the U.S. EEZ. If they were observed within the EEZ but had not paid the fine, then the vessel operator could be arrested and the vessel detained within U.S. jurisdiction pending resolution of the case in court. The APHIS system already tracks high-risk vessels and assesses extra penalties against repeat violators. The "blacklist" primarily includes vessels that have violated the quarantine standards in the past 12 months.7 These vessels are boarded by APHIS inspectors upon all arrivals at U.S. ports for one year after the most recent violation. Initial fines are in the $100 to $200 range and may increase as much as fivefold for repeat violations in a 12-month period (Ronald B. Caffey, assistant to the deputy administrator, APHIS Plant Protection and Quarantine, personal communication to Marine Board staff, July 26, 1994). Monitor Garbage Handling Practices Until recently, there was no way to verify where vessel garbage was discharged. Coast Guard officials could not confirm the claims of vessel operators who said, for example, they had off-loaded garbage in the last port. The Coast Guard has addressed this problem in part by requiring garbage logs on ocean-going, U.S. flag commercial vessels over 12.2 meters (about 40 feet) in length, as well as fixed and floating platforms. Legislation has been proposed that would allow this requirement to be extended to foreign-flag vessels, thereby filling major gaps in accountability in the cargo and cruise ship sectors. Still, it could be difficult and time-consuming to verify the accuracy of the logs. This problem could be remedied if ports were required to provide receipts for garbage off-loaded into their reception facilities, and if the Coast Guard examined these receipts when reviewing vessel logs. Northern European countries have taken even more direct action to monitor potential violators of Annex V. Before departure from Rotterdam, the Netherlands (which is in the North Sea special area), all vessel operators are obliged to off-load garbage or declare their intentions for disposal in a later port of call. That information is recorded in a regional database and can be used to ensure that vessel operators conform with their plans. To further support U.S. monitoring of 7 The violation list is not shared with the Coast Guard. The APHIS program also maintains a separate list of vessels calling at certain Russian ports where Asian gypsy moths may be found. The Coast Guard assists in identifying and tracking those vessels.

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Clean Ships, Clean Ports, Clean Oceans: Controlling Garbage and Plastic Wastes at Sea Get This Book
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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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