Reduce marine water pollution

By making the commitment to reduce marine water pollution from land-based sources and to use only Ocean freight and cargo shippers that take steps to enforce effective onboard waste management and reduce their use of bunker fuels, your company is preventing harmful chemicals and waste from entering the Ocean, either directly or through rivers and water systems.

Ideas for action

  • Ensure effective waste management and choose safer, greener alternatives.
  • Commit to source protein from farms and ranches that are committed to sustainable agriculture, do not use toxic and hazardous chemical pesticides and synthetic fertilizers, and are reducing and eliminating agricultural run-off.
  • Eliminate pollution from ship ballast water, oil, sewage and garbage. Ensure effective waste management, waste reduction and recycling onboard and in ports by ensuring proper stowage, segregation and handling. Ensure zero Ocean dumping policies.
  • Phase out heavy fuel oil use globally (see above) also in recognition of its severely polluting impacts, with public support for a ban on heavy fuel oil use in the Arctic as soon as possible.

Why? Over 80% of Ocean pollution comes from land-based activities, either from deliberate dumping (plastics and other waste) or run-off from rivers and drains, including sewage. Industrial and corporate activities and agriculture are a major cause of this pollution. Farms and ranches in coastal regions as well as along water catchment basins commonly use nitrogen-based fertilizers to boost production. These compounds leach into the Ocean, resulting in the build-up of harmful chemicals, removing oxygen from the water and resulting in dead-zones and algal blooms. The toxins also bio-accumulate in fish and seafood and poison and damage marine habitats and ecosystems. In addition, we need to reduce the release of oil, chemicals, sewage and garbage from ships, either through accidental spills or through operational discharges. Increased shipping is increasing the level of pollution and threatening natural habitats, especially around ports and near shipping routes. We need to stop treating our Ocean as a dumping ground and clean up our waste responsibly.