Cruise Ships, Their Impact on The Ocean

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Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole….feeling hot, hot, hot.  Who doesn’t like a cruise?  While we are all basking in the sunshine and enjoying the never ending buffet, do we ever think of exactly what impact this floating hotel has on the ocean beneath it?  Noise pollution is usually something we don’t associate with  to the ocean.  While we are enjoying the entertainment, the ship’s engines and machinery is continually emitting noise into the ocean that hurts marine life with sensitive hearing, causing irreparable harm and possibly death. Ships hold water in tanks in order to help with balance and stability.  This is called ballast water, and it is full of microbes and germs because when the ship takes on the water, it takes whatever sea life is in it as well.  Eventually this water is dumped out, releasing all the dead sea life back into the ocean.  Air Pollution is an issue because just like automobiles, a ships engines release noxious pollution into the air.   Another problem is that a cruise ship releases all its waste into the water such as grey water pollution with its dish and laundry water; black water pollution from toilet sewage, about 30,000 gallons a day of black water sewage daily; and solid waste such as cans, paper, cardboard, plastic bottles etc.  Another pollution to consider is oil/bilge pollution.  Engine oil often seeps and mixes with ocean water from faulty machinery or actual accidents.  Oil is heavier than water so it doesn’t degrade quickly causing endless problems to marine life.

One of the best ways to stop a corporation from doing something that is harmful is to hit them in the wallet.  What would happen if tourists took a stand against the inconsiderate amount of pollution that a cruise ship causes?  If enough business is lost, the point will be made and this industry would make the changes necessary to keep our oceans healthy.

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