Role of shipping in pollution:
The modern shipping industry has long been regarded as the number one polluter of oceans and seas. With increasing trade and commerce, the accusations against the shipping industry is only set to rise. The industry guzzles millions of oil gallons and leaves a sticky wake in its trail. With rising environmental awareness, consumers and the general populace are demanding the shipping industry to take up the concrete steps and actions to minimize marine pollution. Safeguarding marine biodiversity is taking priority over commercial profits.
Need for green shipping:
What has prompted the increase saber-rattling against shipping industry? Both the shipping and air transport consume fuel and other resources in equal measure. However, airline freight industry has unjustly attracted the largest share of the blame. Because of its low visibility, the marine industry has avoided the regulatory radar till now. But, with increase globalization, the role of the shipping industry and the effects of water pollution on marine life could no longer be kept under wraps.
Reasons for green shipping demands:
1. Carbon dioxide emissions
Documented records show that carbon dioxide emissions are double in the shipping industry than in other sectors. This poisonous and lethal gas is emitted in the form of hard particles which settle on top of the ice glaciers. They hasten the process of ice melting, which raises the ocean levels, thus risking the lives and livelihood of millions of people in the fragile coastal areas.
2. Health effects
The shipping industry is indirectly responsible for many health ailments, including respiratory illness and lung cancers. People who live in the dockyards or ports are the worst affected.
3. Marine Biology effects
Big ships emit large amounts of nitrogen, which produces algae when it comes in contact with water. These ‘algal blooms’ propagate the water and make it impossible for different fishes to live and breed. Experts can only see a rise in marine ecological problems with the increasing trade volumes and larger ships being under construction.
Measures for green implementation:
Many international shipping providers have started implementing measures to reduce the carbon footprint and the ecological risks. Some popular measures include:
1. Engine switch off
Ship Captains now routinely switch off engines when in idle state. Previously the engine used to keep running for a quick launch. However, this contributed to increased amounts of sulfurous emission. Due to this switch off measure, the emissions have reduced considerably.
2. High voltage plugs
High voltage plugs are energy-efficient. They help to start and stop the ship engines in considerably less time than older technology.
3. Legal framework
Regulatory bodies have started drafting laws that place restrictions on fuel consumption, emission, load and other factors. Shipping companies have started adhering to these regulations for the betterment of the environment.
Although the implementation of green technology is expensive, it is imperative that international logistics services stick to them for a better marine future.
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