Monterey sanctuary hosts the largest plankton bloom in the world. (Source, Blue Planet BBC)
The use of pollutant-intensive heavy fuel oil across the entire global fleet of cruise ships. HFO is the thick, bottom-of-the-barrel sludge left over after crude oil is refined. It is one of the dirtiest fuels in the world, and is considered toxic waste on land. If we consider HFO a toxic waste on land, why do we tolerate cruise ships burning HFO in our sanctuary?
The use of ‘scrubbers’ converts air pollution to water pollution, diverting particulate matter, heavy metals, and endocrine-disrupting chemicals which are cancerous into the water. Converting air pollution into water pollution and dumping toxic scrubber effluent into the world’s oceans is unacceptable. Ships with ‘scrubbers’ still emit some sulfur oxides to the air, plus carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and particulate matter.
After cruise ships leave the MNMS, these ships dump vast amounts of scrubber effluent, greywater, and treated sewage along the central coast.
The sonic noise operates at low key whale-related decibel frequencies in whale migration or feeding habitats. Impact on Whales: In the first six months of this year, at least 167 North Pacific gray whales—many of them emaciated—have washed ashore dead on the West Coast. Scientists believe many more have died but their carcasses sank to the seafloor so they cannot be counted. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has declared an “unusual mortality event” which is defined as a stranding that is unexpected; involves a significant die-off of any marine mammal population; and demands immediate response. Among other factors, engine noise from massive cruise ships inhibits their ability to communicate and echolocate. They’re cut off from each other, and effectively blinded by the sound. Further, upon passing the sanctuary border, cruise ships begin discharging thousands of gallons of treated sewage, greywater, scrubber effluent, oily bilge water, solid waste, and hazardous waste into the ocean, all of which have a negative effect on whale habitat.
iCarnival Corporation is currently on criminal probation in the US for illegally dumping oily waste into the ocean and covering it up for nearly a decade. The criminal activity was only revealed after a whistleblower came forward to report it to the UK authorities. Carnival has since also pleaded guilty to violating that probation by dumping more wastewater and the intentionally dumping plastic waste into the ocean. The city of Monterey should prohibit or disqualify any of the three Cruise Ship Consortiums that include companies with criminal records, and should require all qualifiers to disclose any and all violations of criminal federal, state, and local laws and regulations occurring within the last ten years, as well ation should be disqualif
The long-term health impacts of increasing the number of large cruise ships visiting the sanctuary has not been sufficiently investigated. Tens of thousands of people live and work within a mile of Anchorage A, including a half dozen schools. Diesel fumes are rated as a level one carcinogen by the World Health Organization (WHO), in the same category as smoking tobacco. Cruise ships pump out toxic fumes from their engines that can cause permanent damage to children's lungs. It causes permanent lung damage in children, issues with dementia and cognition, untold suffering for people with asthma, birth defects, heart attacks and strokes, chronic and acute bronchitis, and brain cancer. Dispersion modeling should be commissioned by the city of Monterey and conducted by an independent technical expert to understand the potential exposure of local residents to cruise ship pollution, prior to issuing any cruise ship permits.
The port of call of Monterey is a small community, where the ships will unleash a flood of tourists, swamping local infrastructure and create a host of social and cultural issues -- in addition to pollution and whale strikes. For example, in the small villages on the Cinque Terre coast of Italy, public bathrooms are scarce, so tourists—the bulk of whom arrive on cruise ships—have been caught “urinating–or worse–in... gardens and in doorways.” The Italian government has since decided to drastically reduce the number of tourists allowed to visit the islands on cruise ships. Benefiting financially while externalizing the environmental, public health and climate costs of cruise ship pollution is immoral and unethical. It is an equity issue. Residents of cities around the world that are already struggling with cruise passenger over-tourism may well argue that the negatives (such as significantly increased marine and air pollution, soaring rents, strained public services and infrastructure, traffic congestion, and local businesses shutting down to be replaced with international chains and tacky souvenir shops) outweigh the supposed good. The actual economic benefit of cruise ship passengers to the ports of call is much lower than the city of Monterey believes, according to independent researchers.
About 30 million people worldwide are expected to go on a cruise this year, up nearly 70 per cent from a decade ago, according to the Cruise Lines International Association. Many of the new, more sophisticated ships aim to appeal to the rapidly growing Chinese cruise market - now the second-biggest in the world after the United States. As tourism booms in increasingly wealthy China, there is a growing "desire and enthusiasm" for cruises, said Ms Wang Mi, spokesman for Chinese online travel agency Tuniu.
"Cruise products are very popular with seniors, families and honeymooners in China," she told AFP. China's annual growth for the cruise tourism market has exceeded 40 percent since 2006. It is expected to grow into the world's largest cruise market by 2030, with 8 to 10 million customers per year, according to figures by the Shanghai International Shipping Institute .