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Environmental awareness & ways to mitigate pollution by ships

Every effort is to be made to conserve and protect the environment from marine, atmospheric and other forms of pollution, including office-based waste. The following types and sources of possible environmental pollution are recognised: A case in the United States of America in which criminal charges were made against a major ship management company has highlighted the need for total compliance and solid record keeping. The case involved violations regarding the operation of the Oily Water Separator (OWS) and inaccurate/wrong entries in the Oil Record Book. The fact that such violations can occur outside USA waters is of no interest to the USA authorities and they will take legal action regardless.

Any form of illegal discharge is purely an allegation and needs substantiated before further action is taken by the port state authorities.On environmental issue following are some basic check items to ensure no illegal discharge took place :

1. The operational condition of the 15 PPM alarm monitor
2. That each flange of the from the Oily Water separator discharge is sealed up to the overboard valve.
3. That same seal number has been recorded.
4. That the Oil Water Separator is in order and free from defects with all prescribes up to date.
In a recent case study a cargo vessel has been cited for causing pollution off the French Coast after being overflown by a spotter aircraft. The vessel had been discharging through the OWS immediately prior to the overflight and reports it was in full compliance with MARPOL

The French coast is a particularly sensitive area at present and overflights take place on a regular basis. Fines are substantial and the legal process can involve the Seniors Officers being detained in France for a considerable period.

To avoid doubt, vessels in transit must avoid any form of discharge when off the French coast, regardless of distance, even if in compliance with MARPOL. Vessels on coastal voyages in this area must endeavour to discharge slops ashore.

France is highlighted here, however in all parts of the world, countries are becoming increasingly more vigilant in searching for vessels that pollute their coasts. Before commencing a discharge in any location, even when in compliance with MARPOL the risks must be carefully considered and if a less risky alternative can be found, then this is the route that is to be taken.

Recommendation: If you have any concerns regarding the condition of the OWS onboard your vessel please inform your management ashore.

The Company may send information in the form of Bulletin or posters on environmental issues. Masters are encouraged to disseminate this information amongst officers and crew and display posters as appropriate in order to increase environmental awareness onboard.

Notes on environmental issue :
Related articles

How to mitigate greenhouse gases and protect marine environment

Notes on Oily Water Separators / Oil Record Books

Pollution by other harmful substances & harmful packaged goods

Pollution by garbage [ Marpol annex V ]

Pollution by sewage [ Marpol annex IV ]

Pollution of air [ Marpol annex VI ]

Prohibition on use of harmful (TBT) anti-fouling paints

Pollution by ballast water

Prevention of pollution while carryiung out overboard maintenance

Environment friendly purchasing

Decommissioning / ship recycling






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