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Suggested Citation:"INTRODUCTION." 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 84

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ELEMENTS OF AN IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGY 84 INTRODUCTION According to the Kasperson and Pijawka model, the selection of an effective management strategy depends on an assessment of the amount of intelligence (i.e., first-hand information) that can be collected to support interventions, and the degree of control—direct or indirect—that can be exercised over the target community. The same approach can be used to identify elements of an effective Annex V implementation strategy. There are obvious limits on the federal government's information-gathering and control capabilities. The mandates of Annex V are difficult to enforce directly, and MARPOL depends on seafarers to continue to comply even when beyond sight of land. In the United States, federal enforcement depends on reporting of incidents and vessel boardings1 in port to a far greater extent than on surveillance at sea. Furthermore, because vessel operators may select from a range of compliance options, no single indicator can serve as proof that a vessel has complied with or violated the law. Individual infractions at sea are almost impossible to detect, and violators are difficult to prosecute unless witnesses come forth. Even when garbage washes ashore that may have been discharged from a vessel, the burden remains on the enforcement agency to prove which mariner is the violator—often an impossible task. Thus, implementation of Annex V cannot rely solely on the government's ability to identify violators and enforce the law. Fortunately, the government is not the only party capable of gathering intelligence. As will become evident in this chapter, private managers, vessel operators and passengers, or other members of the maritime community may be in better positions to monitor practices than are government officials. In ensuring compliance with pollution laws, the first line of control is direct government regulation. In some maritime sectors, government licenses, certificates, or other approvals may be withheld if a mariner, vessel, or port fails to comply with the law. Even when that authority is absent, there may be opportunities to exert indirect control if a fleet is subject to federal regulation for another purpose directly tied to mariners' livelihood. Federal control capabilities vary by sector. Some fleets, notably cargo vessels and passenger cruise lines, are regulated directly by the Coast Guard. Military and public fleets, as arms of government, also are subject to direct control. Many commercial fishing vessels are regulated indirectly by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) through fisheries management and, on matters of 1 MARPOL inspections are conducted as a component of port safety boardings. Coast Guard inspectors use a checklist. Garbage logs are required on many U.S.-flag vessels. Foreign-flag vessels are not required to keep written records, so the inspector interviews crews and officers (language barriers can be a problem).

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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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