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Suggested Citation:"SUMMARY." 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 80

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IMPLEMENTATION 80 A Final Modification to the Model In adapting the matrix to each maritime sector, the committee omitted the final column ("Consequences") because it is usually beyond the ability of most seafarers to intervene once garbage is loose in the ocean. This is, of course, a critical point in the hazard evolution model, where the peril evolves from a possibility into reality. (The committee's review of the ecological and social consequences of discharging garbage from ships is summarized in Chapter 2 and Appendix F.) From the perspective of planning for Annex V implementation, however, the source of discharged waste is not a factor in intervening against the consequences. No matter what types of mariners discharge garbage into the sea, their capability to intervene is limited. It is possible for others to take effective action once debris is discharged into the marine environment. What is important in the present context is the issue of whether and how to integrate these types of interventions into the Annex V implementation strategy. Beach cleanups, for instance, are readily identifiable as interventions, however modest, against the consequences of a hazard. Each volunteer who bags a piece of marine debris is helping to reduce the hazard to wildlife, lessen aesthetic degradation of the beach, and reroute the pollutant into the shoreside waste management system. For materials still in the water, retrieval serves the same purpose. Fishermen who capture debris in their nets and bring it back to shore for disposal are helping to mitigate the consequences of someone else's discards. Such efforts are neither encouraged nor rewarded in the present Annex V implementation regime. Rewards could be offered to encourage seafarers to retrieve marine debris; this approach has been employed in fishing tournaments in the Gulf of Mexico (Louisiana State University Sea Grant Program, 1989). SUMMARY A systematic approach to Annex V implementation can help government authorities and regulated seafarers take full advantage of all options available to address the challenges posed by a potent pollutant—vessel garbage. The hazard evolution model described in this chapter is an example of such a systematic approach. An important feature of the model is the inclusion of waste reduction as a garbage management option. The committee's analysis demonstrates that, to date, most efforts to reduce the hazard—whether economic incentives, educational programs, or enforcement of the law—have been "downstream." That is, most interventions are carried out after packaging and other items made of nondegradable materials are brought on board. Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency revised its hazardous waste policy, which formerly emphasized waste

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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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