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Report dumps on Baltic cruise ship discharge

Stuart Roberts · 17 Jul 2009, 12:35

Published: 17 Jul 2009 12:35 GMT+02:00

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Untreated toilet waste and other effluent is ending up in the Baltic Sea because most harbours in the region do not have sufficient capacity to handle cruise ship waste, according to a WWF study.

Only harbours in Stockholm, Visby and Helsinki have the capacity to handle effluent and other waste water carried by visiting cruise ships, according to the study.

Because of poor on-shore waste handling capacity in Sweden and other countries, many ships are instead dumping their waste directly into the sea, according to WWF.

The practice is contributing to a well-documented rise in nutrient levels in the Baltic Sea, which can lead to algal blooms and other environmental problems that have potentially devastating effects on aquatic life and human health.

The European passenger liner industry has an annual turnover of about 160 billion kronor ($20 billion).

More than 350 cruise ship will visits the Baltic Sea this year, making over 2,000 port calls, and the industry is growing at around 13 percent every year, according to WWF.

The environmental group wants Swedish harbours to improve their environmental commitment and increase their waste handling capacity.

“We find it unfair that large harbours and cities are profiting from the cruise line industry but are not prepared to put in place satisfactory methods for handling their waste,” said Åsa Andersson, head of WWF’s Baltic programme, in a statement.

“We believe that some of these profits should be used to improve harbour facilities to offer effective handling of waste water.”

Story continues below…

Swedish ports actually stood up reasonably well against other countries surveyed in the WWF study.

Of the 12 most visited ports in the Baltic, only Gothenburg in Sweden failed to demonstrate sufficient waste handling standards, along with the ports of Klaipeda, Kiel, Copenhagen, Riga, Rostock, St. Petersburg, Tallinn and Gdynia.

Stuart Roberts (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:19 July 17, 2009 by aazippo3
Somehow I gotta feeling they will get over it


16:36 July 17, 2009 by voiceofreason
The waste is gonna end up somewhere anyway. The whole earth system is in cycles.
16:40 July 17, 2009 by livewire
hmmm so lets get this right , because the cruise ship companies fail to research where the can offload all their raw sewage they either dump it at sea or blame it on the visiting country for not having the resources to deal with it. The amount of money they make they should be held resonsible for sorting out disposal of this with private companies instead of just dumping their crap on us (literally)

these companies should be taxed for the size of the vessel or the number of people onboard when entering a countries waters if they cannot produce valid documents of resources to dispose of their waste
01:20 July 18, 2009 by conboy
What does the sjöfartsverket do apart from lifting their wages? The Swedish public service needs one almighty kick up the arse. What has the Naturvårdsverket being doing not to mention the government departments? Typical Sweden they lecture the world about the importance of the environment while nuclear power stations are incorrectly run and every mothers son dumps untreated sewage into the Baltic while the Russians get the blame for everything. What a shower of bluffers!
13:43 July 18, 2009 by hilt_m
"Because of poor on-shore waste handling capacity in Sweden" but then "Of the 12 most visited ports in the Baltic, only Gothenburg in Sweden failed" this doesn't seem very poor if only one city failed??? What are you trying to say Stuart Roberts?
09:45 July 19, 2009 by Nemesis
This is ridiculous.

If a ship discharges raw sewage in Swedish waters, it should be siezed and the owners/operaters put in jail.

That would put a sharp stop to the pracice.
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