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Ship sewage banned in Baltic Sea

October 11, 2010
"This is an important milestone for the Baltic Sea. The responsibility now lies heavy on the Baltic Sea countries and their ports to provide the necessary port facilities."
- Mattias Rust, WWF's representative

Ship sewage will no longer be allowed to foul the Baltic Sea. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) on Friday agreed to ban the discharge of sewage from passenger ships and ferries in the Baltic Sea.

The decision comes after a three year WWF campaign to stop the dumping of waste water in the Baltic Sea.

WWF has since 2007 worked hard to convince governments and the shipping industry to ban the discharge of waste water straight into the Baltic Sea. The organization had already succeeded in receiving voluntary commitments from many passenger ferry lines and cruise companies that traffic the Baltic Sea.

Friday's decision will make the dumping of waste water illegal starting in 2013 for all new ships, and from 2018 for all ships, when sufficient port reception facilities are available. A special IMO working group will develop criteria for "adequate port reception facilities".

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