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Suggested Citation:"Surveillance by Ship Operators." 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 202

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OVERARCHING ISSUES AFFECTING ANNEX V IMPLEMENTATION 202 disposal practices by commercial ships, it might be advisable to require cargo and cruise ships to off-load Annex V and APHIS garbage at every U.S. port call, as suggested in Chapter 5, or to declare their intentions, as in Rotterdam. Surveillance by Government Authorities Although comprehensive surveillance is impossible, various government authorities already monitor the actions of certain fleets and might be able to include Annex V on their lists of concerns. The NMFS stations observers on vessels in some fishing fleets to monitor compliance with fisheries management plans. The MMS routinely inspects offshore oil and gas operations. And state marine police encounter recreational and fishing boats during the course of ordinary duties. Additional Annex V enforcement capabilities would be useful with respect to fisheries fleets, offshore operations, and recreational boaters. If authorities monitoring these fleets were informed about Annex V and methods for reporting violations, perhaps they could provide these extra capabilities. Surveillance by Ship Operators Ship operators have every reason to want to assure the adequacy of garbage reception facilities, and they could be encouraged to help the government monitor ports. The IMO has a form8 ship operators may use to report inadequate port reception facilities, but these forms seldom are filled out. There may be a way to encourage use of these forms, collect the data, and pursue violators on national and international levels—similar to the way the United States keeps track of how its Annex V violation reports are handled by other flag states. This type of voluntary monitoring is condoned by MARPOL and would assist primarily with enforcement focusing on vessels from signatory states. In the United States, Coast Guard or APHIS officers boarding a vessel could hand the crew a report form. Operators of cruise ships and military vessels could obtain forms upon every departure from the United States. In smaller ports and marinas, availability of the IMO forms could be publicized through the Coast Guard and its auxiliary; boating and fishing groups; and education programs, such as the NOAA's Marine Debris Information Offices. In the offshore oil and gas industry, the Offshore Operators Committee could publicize the availability of the forms and circulate them to operators of platforms and service vessels. 8 Lithe form is provided in Appendix B, last page of the implementation guidelines.

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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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