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Jamaica to enforce new rules on ship waste

Jamaica to enforce new rules on ship waste

   Jamaica said it is ready to implement tougher international standards on the discharge of ship waste at sea.

   Under an amendment to a landmark maritime pollution convention, nations have designated the Caribbean Sea as an area of special attention for preventing pollution from disposal of garbage generated by ships. The treaty gives nations the power to enforce stricter standards on ships calling at its ports or transiting territorial waters. Prohibited discharges are plastics, paper products, rags, glass, metals, crockery, dunnage and packing material. Countries are required to have adequate facilities to offload garbage and properly dispose of it on land.

   The Maritime Authority of Jamaica said an inter-agency authority has developed guidelines for how ship waste is to be handled. More than 3,000 commercial vessels, mostly containerships, visit Jamaica each year.

   Before the new regulations were brought in, the Caribbean area suffered problems from the unregulated collection and discharge of ship-generated garbage and sludge, illegal discharge of oil and garbage in coastal waters and illegal discharges of oily waste in mangroves, cane fields and other areas, the maritime authority said.

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