National Academies Press: OpenBook
Suggested Citation:"OVERARCHING ISSUES." 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 7

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 7 national Annex V education and training program would need to include research, execution, evaluation, and innovation. The committee concludes that (1) a sustained national program of Annex V education and training is needed that reaches all levels of all maritime sectors (including visitors and other members of the public, employees, and management) as well as non-traditional target groups such as the packaging industry and government officials; provides for information exchange, both domestically and internationally; and stimulates innovation; and (2) a publicly chartered, independent foundation offers the most promise for coordinating and enhancing a successful, long-term program of education, training, and information exchange. OVERARCHING ISSUES Development of a successful Annex V implementation strategy demands attention to three overarching issues that affect all fleets, require effective national coordination, and involve international aspects. The first issue is the need for overall national leadership in Annex V implementation. Many strategies for improving Annex V implementation require the cooperation of multiple agencies and organizations and diverse maritime sectors. The committee concludes that (1) U.S. government and government-sup- ported fleets, to set an example, need to work systematically to comply with Annex V, upgrade crew training and provisioning practices, and encourage transfer of successful experiences to other fleets; (2) centralized oversight, direction, and coordination of Annex V implementation is needed; (3) the United States needs to continue to take a leadership role in the international community with respect to Annex V implementation; (4) a permanent national commission offers the most promise as a means of providing consistent, independent, expert oversight and coordination of Annex V and MPPRCA implementation, as well as international leadership; and (5) memoranda of understanding (MOUs) need to be negotiated between relevant agencies and observed. The second issue is enforcement3 of Annex V. The Coast Guard is taking steps to expand its use of internationally recognized authorities over foreign- flag vessels. The committee identified a number of additional opportunities for improving enforcement. U.S. authorities could work through IMO to resolve ambiguities concerning the extent of port state4 authorities with respect to Annex V enforcement; extend the requirement for garbage logs to foreign-flag vessels; 3 Enforcement, for purposes of this report, includes all actions taken to obtain some remedy for violations of Annex V. Such actions may include pursuit of a civil or criminal case against an alleged violator, referral of a case involving a foreign-flag vessel to the appropriate flag state, and record keeping undertaken as a means of keeping track of repeat violators. 4 A port state is a nation in which foreign-flag vessels make port calls.

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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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