Commercial pressures impact Baltic Sea
More than half of Baltic Sea passenger ships and ferries dump their wastewater at sea, with serious consequences for the marine environment. This is the finding of new research from WWF presented at a meeting of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in October 2010.
The research highlights the impact the rapid growth in the cruise industry is having on the Baltic. Every year, more than 350 cruise ships make over 2,000 port calls, but many ports have not upgraded their facilities to cope with the demand. The IMO has now agreed to ban the discharge of sewage from passenger ships and ferries in the Baltic Sea. The decision will make the dumping of wastewater illegal from 2013 for all new ships, and from 2018 for all remaining ships when sufficient port reception facilities are available.
You can read more about the environmental impact of shipping, energy and tourism in the Baltic, in WWF and RSA's Future Trends in the Baltic Sea report.