US Cruise Ships Dumping Sewage and Toxic Waste in Canadian Waters
They are the largest water polluters, discharging 31 billion liters of waste annually on Canada’s west coast alone
Several Americans enjoy their vacation on Alaskan cruises every year. The route for these cruises includes Canada’s west coast for many days. But what’s concerning is that when the cruise ships reach the west coast of Canada, they use it as an opportunity to dump sewage and toxic waste into Canadian waters. Some of the areas where the US cruise ships dump their waste are Canada’s marine protected regions.
Environmental advocacy group Stand.Earth formed a report that checked the regulations for cruise ship pollution from California to Alaska on the west coast. They observed that Canadian regulations are not very stringent and they even incentivize “cruise companies to dump large volumes of onboard wastewater in Canadian waters.”
Anna Barford, Canada shipping campaigner at Stand.Earth, says, “There’s this perverse incentive to treat Canada like a toilet bowl.” After all, US cruise ships are using water areas in Canada like a highway and don’t even hesitate to toss waste into it.
To be precise, around 31 billion liters of pollution are discharged every year on Canada’s west coast alone, as per the West Coast Environmental Law report. This makes the cruise ships the largest water polluters even though they make up only two percent of traffic in this area, as per WWF Canada.
The specific areas where the water is most polluted are off the coast of British Columbia. Throwing light on the matter, the West Coast Environmental Law states that this is happening because the dumping regulations in Canada are not as strict as American laws.
In Alaska, the ships on the cruise have to send applications for discharging sewage. If not approved, they cannot dump waste in the water. Washington has more than 6,000 square kilometers of protected ocean habitat. But it is a “NO discharge” zone!
So, cruise ships hold on to their waste when in American waters and dump it into Canadian waters without any hesitation. That’s because untreated sewage can be dumped in Canada anywhere as long as it is above 12 nautical miles away from the cost. Due to this, many critical marine habitats are suffering.
The discharge includes several toxic chemicals that can harm wildlife, such as sea otters and orcas, which are already nearing extinction. It’s high time that Canada thinks about taking strict measures to stop cruise ship dumping in their protected marine areas. There must be mandatory regulations prohibiting dumping and harming marine life.
Via: Daily Hive