George pushes for action to protect seabirds

Posted on: 22nd August 2013

Following news this week that the Maritime and Coastguard Agency has been unable to trace the vessel responsible for a contamination spill in April and May, local MP, Andrew George, has pledged to continue pushing for a code of practice to stop pollution incidents which are killing thousands of seabirds.

Mr George has already made representations to Ministers, the UK Major Ports Group and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) about the need to regulate and prosecute ships which discharge pollutants following the recent incidents of birds being stricken by Polyisobutylene (PIB). He is also working with the UK Chamber of Shipping and the RSPB.

He said: “It will be many years before the IMO will be able to secure international agreement for a ban. That’s why I’m calling on the industry to introduce a voluntary code as an interim measure. It would help to have Government backing, but it’s important to send out a strong message to all shipping companies wanting to use European ports that they can only do so if they use port side waste disposal facilities for their PIBs and other dangerous waste. ”

Mr George has tabled Parliamentary motions calling upon the Government to support the introduction of a voluntary code of practice to require tankers to declare at each port they enter that their excess PIBs will be handled by portside waste handling facilities and not discharged at sea. Mr George is also calling for an urgent review into the legal classification of PIB through the International Maritime Organisation with a view to banning its discharge at sea altogether.


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