Waste dumping banned in Caribbean

16:21, April 19, 2010      

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Ships traveling on the Caribbean Sea will be barred from dumping waste into the waters from May 1, 2011, the International Maritime Organization announced on Sunday.

The Caribbean Sea is the sixth area to adopt such a measure following the Baltic Sea, the North Sea, the Antarctic area, the Gulf region and the Mediterranean Sea.

Under the ban, ships will be prohibited from pouring oil, sewage, garbage and noxious liquids into the sea.

The Caribbean Sea has the most intense maritime traffic in the world, with some 50,000 ships transporting 14.5 million passengers every year.

According to the United Nations Environment Program, a cruise ship carrying 3,000 passengers produces 400 to 1,200 cubic meters of wastes per day, apart from 70 liters of toxic wastes including chemicals, paints, solvents and batteries.

In his reaction to the ban, Vice President of Jamaican Port Authority Ian Blair said the Caribbean countries "don't have facilities to receive ship wastes" and they also "lack the necessary resources and organizational structure to monitor the ships."

Dumping toxic waste is a serous threat to the health and sustenance of more than 41 million inhabitants around the Caribbean Sea, who depend on such activities as fishing and tourism.



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