Despite large penalties for breaking the law, bilge dumping continues to occur. Infrequent prosecution, combined with incentives to dump oily waste instead of treating it, means some polluters take their chances.
This is the third entry in a multi-part series revealing the significance of bilge dumping globally. You can read parts one and two on SkyTruth’s blog.
Today, ninety percent of international trade relies on global shipping. From commercial to passenger vessels the world’s global fleet exceeds 95,402 ships plus around 2.8 million fishing vessels. With all this ocean traffic occurring every day, SkyTruth has been monitoring the oceans for bilge dumping; the illegal discharge of oily wastewater at sea. In this post, we explore regulations governing bilge dumping and consider why this practice is so widespread, despite these regulations.