Fort Lauderdale, FL — July 14, 2008 — Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the world’s largest cruise industry group, today reaffirmed the industry’s continued commitment to the environment and advanced wastewater treatment management, in response to public statements concerning member cruise line operations in the Baltic Sea.
In a recent public statement, Mats Abrahamsson, Program Director of the World Wildlife Fund Baltic Ecoregion Program said, “It should be the responsibility of anyone operating a ship in the Baltic Sea to take care of their own wastes in a responsible manner.”
In response, Terry Dale, President and CEO of CLIA, said:
“A recent study conducted by the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland reported that cruise ships contribute only a tiny fraction of the nutrients released into the sea – less than 1 percent.
“CLIA member companies adopted stringent wastewater treatment practices nearly a decade ago, and have operated in accordance with these practices since that time. Additionally, where available and reasonable, ships discharge wastewaters to shore facilities in Baltic Sea cruise ports. Moreover, many cruise lines have already invested hundreds of millions of dollars in advanced onboard systems that treat wastewater to the highest standards available.
“As an industry deeply committed to the protection of the environment, we look forward to continuing to work with the WWF as well as the ports, the maritime industry, land-based facilities and local government to protect the Baltic for generations to come.”
Dale noted that since 2007, CLIA has worked closely with the WWF to share information and find solutions to the environmental challenges in the Baltic region. He also called for a collaborative effort to control all sources of nutrients contributing to issues in the Baltic Sea, whether from land or sea.
“A truly effective effort would include farm operations, industrial facilities and municipal wastewater treatment plants, in addition to ports and the maritime industry,” Dale said.
All members of the Cruise Lines International Association operating in the Baltic Sea – and all over the world – meet or exceed the discharge standards for sewage set by the International Maritime Organization, Dale noted.
The VTT study is available online at http://www.vtt.fi/inf/pdf/tiedotteet/2007/T2370.pdf.