With the enormous growth of the cruise industry in the past 10 years, Friends of the Earth has taken an extensive look at the environmental footprint and practices of the cruise industry, an industry that has long avoided comprehensive environmental regulation and pollution controls. 'Getting a Grip On Cruise Ship Pollution' looks at all aspects of the cruise industry from its pollution streams, to its history of environmental violations, to the modest number of environmental laws that govern the industry. The report also contains a wide-ranging set of recommendations that provide solutions for comprehensive environmental reform of the cruise industry.
At the end of 2008, the industry was operating 189 cruise ships worldwide with close to 10 million passengers departing from North American ports in 2008 alone. At the same time, the environmental pollution generated by cruise ships is enormous:
Cruise Ship Air Pollution:
Cruise ships emit more heat-trapping carbon dioxide per passenger mile than aircraft and trains. Most cruise ships burn bunker fuel, which is 1,000 times dirtier than the fuel burned in diesel trucks.
Cruise Ship Water Pollution:
In one week, an average cruise ship generates 210,000 gallons of human sewage (filling approximately ten swimming pools) and 1 million gallons (40 more swimming pools) of gray water (from sinks, baths, showers, laundry, and galleys), all of which can be legally dumped untreated just 3 nautical miles from U.S. shores.
Cruise Ship Environmental Violations:
Between 1993 and 1998, the US Government charged 104 cruise ships with illegal discharges of oil, garbage, and/or hazardous wastes, resulting in over $55 million in fines for the industry since 1998.
Click here to read the report