Climate Change

Ship Pollution & Marine Safety

Photo by Laurie MacBrideEighty percent of all goods transported around the world are transported by sea.

Every year, over 10,000 freighters pass through the waters of southern British Columbia, on the way to or from Vancouver, Seattle, or other destinations around the Strait of Georgia and neighbouring Puget Sound. Oil tankers, fuel barges, naval vessels, cruise ships, fish boats, pleasure craft and ferries - all must all share these waters.

Accidents can - and do - happen, often with serious environmental consequences from resulting oil and fuel spills. Marine safety is therefore paramount.

Another ongoing concern is pollution from discharges of bilge water, graywater, sewage, lubricating oil, engine coolants and other contaminants.

In addition, air pollution from commercial ships is a growing problem. Every year, air quality worsens in British Columbia's Lower Mainland - and the primary source of this pollution is not cars, but ships! In Metro Vancouver, ships produce one third of the sulphur dioxide and are the second biggest producer of nitrous oxide.

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