INTERNATIONAL CRUISE SHIP POLLUTION
emerged in their place and have enjoyed continued popularity since the1960s.
Cruise ships have developed greatly from their ancestor fleets of ocean liners. In the twenty-first century, they carry three to five thousand passengers each as compared to the few hundred passengers that oceanliners accommodated.
Modern-day cruise ships additionally entertain passengers with luxuries and attractions such as onboard casinos, theaters,golf courses, ice-skating rinks, rock-climbing walls, shopping malls, and spas.
Since companies spend up to $800 million building and outfitting eachof these ships, one imagines that they must be highly efficient, respectable,and environmentally safe modes of transport.
However, this thought is amisconception to say the least. With over 255 traveling throughout theworld, Cruise ships are a huge contributor to the destruction of its solevenue: the seas.
With ten million people each year travel aboard cruise ships across theworld, one must ask: where do the waste and byproducts of their seaexcursions go?
Much of it ends up being released into the ocean therebyleaving a “trail of waste includ[ing] oily bilge water, sewage, graywater. ..ballast water, solid waste, and chemicals” behind them.
Whereas passengers return to their homes after their voyages with lastingimpressions of the splendor and opulence of cruise travel, the ocean is leftmarred and soiled with scraps of last night’s dinner, dirty shower water,and human waste among other harmful pollutants.
Due to the continued growth of the international cruise ship industry,its activities at sea impose an escalating threat to the environment.
Moreexplicitly, “Oceans are not, as once imagined, inexhaustible resources, sovast that human activity can barely make a dent. In fact, the evidence is justthe opposite.”
Such evidence has spurred action in the international arena.The creation of the International Maritime Organization
Eric V. Hull, Comment,
Soiling the Sea: The Solution to Pollution is Still Dilution
. 61, 65 (2002).
Tasha J. Power, Comment,
Vessel-Based Pollution: Major Developments in 2004
Safe Harbors: Crafting an International Solution to Cruise Ship Pollution
, 15 G
. 105, 113 (2002).
Reviving Our Oceans, http://www.nrdc.org/water/oceans/policy.asp (last visited Mar. 6,2008).
International Maritime Organization, http://www.imo.org/ (last visited April 14, 2008).