National Academies Press: OpenBook

Clean Ships, Clean Ports, Clean Oceans: Controlling Garbage and Plastic Wastes at Sea (1995)

Chapter: Application of the Model to the Seafarer Communities

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Suggested Citation:"Application of the Model to the Seafarer Communities." 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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Page 79

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IMPLEMENTATION 79 in cubic meters, kilograms, bins, dumpsters, skips, truckloads, barges, or other measures. If there were uniform and affordable garbage disposal rates, then levels of compliance probably would rise. Another possible economic incentive lies in the development of on-board garbage processing equipment that is reasonably priced, reliable, and effective. The government could be involved in this effort. For example, existing mechanisms could be used to disseminate to the private sector any relevant technical developments by government engineering facilities. Another option would be to assist the private sector (e.g., through loans) with research to improve on-board garbage treatment methods. Economic incentives are powerful means of encouraging compliance. In fact, for commercial marine users, these likely are the most important incentives. Because regulation and enforcement requires these users to bear the cost of business externalities such as garbage disposal, the cost of noncompliance (e.g., fines, bad publicity, reduced product and/or service demand) is weighed against the cost of compliance. Actions taken at each stage of the hazard evolution model may be considered means of reducing compliance costs. Application of the Model to the Seafarer Communities The foregoing overview of the two-dimensional hazard evolution model illuminates the range of interventions that could facilitate implementation of Annex V. The drafters of Annex V clearly intended that signatory nations would use many methods to encourage compliance or enable enforcement. There is an additional dimension of the problem of Annex V implementation that the model does not address adequately in its present form— the breadth and diversity of the regulated maritime fleets and ports. To remedy that shortcoming and assure that recommendations based on the model contain sufficient detail to be useful to policymakers, the committee decided to develop a separate matrix for each of the nine maritime sectors addressed in this report. This approach enabled the committee to consider specific interventions by type of action and phase of the process for each user group. In doing so, commonalities across user groups became evident, thereby suggesting where combined efforts might provide economy of scale. The examination of the nine maritime sectors may be found in Chapter 4. In filling in the cells of each matrix, two related approaches were employed. The activities of the user group were considered with respect to the actual and the potential waste they generated; the committee determined how the activities could be modified through various types of efforts. Concurrently, the committee focused on the different types of garbage generated by each group and how each type might best be controlled.

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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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