The nutrient load caused by shipping affects life in the Baltic Sea. Oxygen depleted zones, the emergence of large rafts of blue-green algae, and species decline are some of the consequences of nutrient discharge. The Responsible Shipping project, launched by the Baltic Sea Action Group, aims to increase the amount of waste discharged in ports through voluntary actions.
Responsible shipping operators, including ferries operating between Finland, Sweden and Estonia and cargo ships operating in scheduled traffic, already leave all their waste at ports. However, there are about 2,000 vessels operating in the Baltic Sea each day, 95% of which are cargo ships. An estimated 25,000 people work on these ships. Ships’ grey water, treated sewage and food waste containing bacteria and microplastics can be legally discharged into the Baltic Sea.
The project develops ways to reduce discharges from maritime transport. For example, the project disseminates information on the No Special Fee system, which encourages the discharging of waste to ports is in the Baltic Sea, to ships calling at Finnish ports. Ships are also informed about the special features of the Baltic Sea compared to other seas. Through enabling better procurement, planning and handling, the project will also focus on reducing food waste.
At the heart of the project is constructive cooperation between actors in the field. Cooperation is established with the compnies and interest groups of the maritime cluster, as well as with the authorities and researchers. By carrying out research and studies, the project will also provide additional information on the environmental impact of maritime transport.
MILD project enables BSAG to scale the information package throughout the Baltic Sea. Positive piloting results from the Finnish maritime cluster give a good model for other countries, too. The project will arrange an information campaign together with local ports and ship brokers. More information to ships will mean less discharges to the Baltic Sea, hence the name MILD. The targets are achieved by close cooperation between ports, shipbrokers, and authorities. BSAG will act as a catalyst and coordinator to ensure ships are properly informed.
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BSAG’s two year Grey waters in maritime traffic -project receives funding from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund’s Finnish Operational Program 2014–2020.
MILD project has received funding from the Baltic Sea Action Plan Fund (BSAP Fund). The BSAP Fund is financed with contributions from the governments of Sweden and Finland, and jointly managed by Nefco and the Nordic Investment Bank. Read more on nefco.int/bsap.
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