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Suggested Citation:"Educational Communication." 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 76
Suggested Citation:"Educational Communication." 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 77

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IMPLEMENTATION 76 rate culture that supports an environmental vision is essential to achieving environmental goals'' (Bassow, 1992). The committee heard from commercial ship operators who discussed the way in which Total Quality Management (TQM) (Barkley and Saylor, 1993) is being adopted in the industry. The TQM approach may enable the commercial marine culture to incorporate new objectives more rapidly than would have been feasible through other management practices. Globally, the maritime industries have been trying to articulate the role management has to play in meeting the ambitious goals set by IMO and individual governments. Members of IMO have tried to unify years of isolated efforts into a comprehensive document that speaks to shoreside executives as well as watchstanding crew members. Guidelines for ship management and quality assurance have been developed (International Maritime Organization, 1993). While vessel crew members carry out garbage discharges, a corporate culture perspective would suggest that crew behavior reflects the values of their employer corporations and their professional membership organizations. These corporations and organizations may not have fully developed cultures committed to reducing environmental hazards. This lack of commitment may be influenced by the intractability of the marine waste management problem as well as the threat it poses to other corporate values, such as profit. It is important to remember that integrated waste management is more than technology—it is an organizational concept that employs technology. Organizational changes are possible in all phases identified in the hazard evolution model for vessel garbage, but particularly ''upstream," such as in modifying seafarers' behaviors, preventing initiating events, and blocking the discharge of garbage into the sea. A supportive organizational culture can make it easier to introduce new operating practices through measures such as restricting the distribution of supplies (Gallop, undated) and eliminating packaging that seafarers are accustomed to having ashore but do not need at sea. An example of such an intervention is to switch from small to large ketchup bottles in a dining room on an offshore platform. An oil company reported that it expected to eliminate 4,800 bottles from its annual waste stream through this change, without asking anyone to give up ketchup (Babin and Toll, 1992). Educational Communication Education has been shown to be an effective intervention against the problem of vessel garbage. Education often is employed in the movement to combat environmental hazards; such approaches have been used effectively, for example, in lobbying the U.S. Congress to ratify Annex V and enact the Marine Plastics Pollution Research and Control Act (O'Hara et al., 1988). But in the present context, persuasive public information is not enough. To achieve its potential in supporting Annex V, education must target specific users in each maritime sec-

IMPLEMENTATION 77 tor. Within each sector, certain individuals and groups responsible for different aspects of Annex V compliance will have distinct requirements for education, training, and information exchange. Table 3-1 outlines how the drafters of Annex V viewed education and information exchange. Educational messages should be structured to build the seafarer's self- image as someone who engages in environmentally sound behavior (i.e., MARPOL compliance) voluntarily rather waiting for imposition of external controls (i.e., prosecution for a violation). Messages not only should persuade users to comply and provide information about legal responsibilities, but also should describe compliance methods, because a mariner needs tools to make it possible to follow the rules. Educational interventions are possible throughout the hazard evolution model. Mariners can be made aware of the way in which their needs are manifested in behaviors. They also can be taught alternative ways to satisfy their needs or even persuaded to constrain their needs while at sea because of the difficulties with garbage disposal. Simultaneously, it may be necessary to confront lingering, outdated attitudes among those who still view the ocean as a garbage receptacle. The educational message might be that it is inappropriate to continue garbage-generating activities at sea, unless one is willing to take responsibility for proper disposal. There are also promising possibilities for educational intervention at the waste generation and waste release stages. Objectives could include stimulating recognition and modification of behaviors that result in garbage being carried or generated on board vessels or disposed of improperly. If mariners were made aware of the ways in which marine organisms are exposed to garbage and the impact of the hazard, then they might recognize the need to modify their behaviors "upstream" in the hazard evolution model. Once informed about the legal restrictions, many mariners will modify their behavior in order to avoid sanctions. Multilingual and cross-cultural educational efforts are needed due to the international character of many crews. Educational communication can target either the individual user or those in authority who can change an organization to improve implementation of Annex V. Either way, it is important to recognize that no individual decides in isolation whether to comply. Norms of behavior exist for all subcultures in the marine community, whether the groups encompass specific types of users, particular regions of the country, or specific communities within a region. Therefore, the educational process should reinforce the message through group dynamics (Laska, 1990). To ignore the power of a group in influencing its members is to lose an important opportunity to alter behavior. User organizations need to be employed as much as possible as vehicles for communicating the importance of compliance with Annex V and for altering behavior throughout the intervention.

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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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