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Suggested Citation:"9 National Strategy." 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 222

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NATIONAL STRATEGY 222 9 National Strategy Previous chapters have examined the problem of vessel garbage from a variety of perspectives, by addressing scientific understanding of marine debris, the legal requirements of MARPOL Annex V and the related U.S. law, and characteristics of the maritime sectors that must comply with these mandates. The report has identified a variety of barriers to compliance as well as potential solutions and factors complicating those solutions. The report also has explored strategic issues and limitations generated by considerations of importance to government agencies and the regulated communities. The task now is to integrate all these elements into a coherent strategy that will enhance implementation of Annex V. In the committee's judgment, such a strategy needs to be tailored to practical realities, not only in terms of the needs and characteristics of each maritime sector but also in the context of the integrated solid waste management system (ISWMS) in place for land- generated waste. That is, the strategy should target problems and opportunities specific to each sector, and it should serve to integrate the handling of vessel garbage into the ISWMS, taking into account both the trends and the shortcomings of that system. This approach suggests that progressive changes in the handling of land- generated garbage should be encouraged in the maritime world. Recycling, for instance, is now standard in many homes and offices. Residents in many parts of the country are accustomed to separating, cleaning, storing, and setting at curbside a variety of recyclable waste materials. It is therefore plausible that fisheries personnel could become accustomed to returning used nets and lines to port for recycling. While not specifically required by Annex V, recycling would foster

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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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