Image: Shutterstock// Oleksii Sidorov 2018:
Did you know that garbage from ships can be just as deadly to marine life as oil or chemical spills? Did you know that the greatest danger of them all comes from plastic that floats in the ocean for years, causing animal and plant life to suffer?
Many marine animals ingest plastics, mistaking them for food. Marine researchers around the world have observed hungry sea turtles eating plastic bags, mistaking them for jellyfish, and seabirds eating all kinds of plastic objects, including cigarette lighters and toothbrushes, mistaking them for small fish.
“We need to stop believing that the oceans can absorb anything thrown into them,” said Roger Ringstad, Managing Director of Seagull Maritime. “It is our responsibility as a promoter of maritime education and sustainable shipping to give everyone the same quality of information around the importance of not using our oceans as rubbish tips”
Plastic waste that washes up on beaches can come from people on shore, often arriving from holiday-makers who leave their rubbish lying around. It also comes from fishermen who throw unwanted refuse over the side and from towns and cities that dump rubbish into rivers.
However, in some areas most of the rubbish found comes from passing ships, where crewmembers throw it overboard, rather than disposing of it correctly in ports. So as a consequence, Seagull Maritime is proud to do their part by releasing a new training module on Garbage and Waste Management. This has the aim of changing the behaviour of crew so that they are aware of their responsibilities to the environment.
‘Highlighting to crewmembers that the oceans should not be used as a rubbish tip is a matter of education, The old idea that the sea can cope with anything still prevails to some extent, but it also involves much more vigorous enforcement of regulations such as MARPOL Annex V.’
INFO-GRAPHIC - Plastic Waste!
Among other things, this new module also covers the dangers of not using garbage disposal equipment correctly. Unfortunately, there have also been a number of accidents where crewmembers have been seriously injured because they have bypassed the safety features on incinerators.
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