“We need quicker action to stop seabird strandings” – George

Posted on: 22nd April 2013

The MP for the West Cornwall and Isles of Scilly constituency of St Ives, Andrew George, is calling upon the International Maritime Organisation, the UK Government and UK ports, to work in concert to stop pollution incidents which are killing thousands of seabirds on our coast.

Mr George has already raised questions with Ministers but, following representations to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), he has expressed concern that that organisation ‘only moves at the pace of the slowest and least cooperative’.

He has therefore also written to the British Ports Authority and the Shipping Minister – Stephen Hammond MP – to seek an interim agreement between larger ports in western Europe to deny access to those ships which refuse to agree to an undertaking that pollutants like polyisobutene will be handled as part of the on land waste stream, rather than continuing to discharge at sea.

Mr George said, “Of course, it is important that pressure is brought to bear upon the IMO. After all it is the organisation which can do most to achieve an international agreement to stop the discharging of pollutants which have a devastatingly effect on marine life and seabirds.  But we know that the IMO moves at a pace even slower than the tankers it is there to regulate.

“I have therefore written to the British Ports Authority and Government Ministers urging them to work with their western European counterparts to seek an interim moratorium which would restrict port access of those ships which refuse to sign up to an undertaking that they will land their polyisobutene and other pollutants as a hazardous waste, rather than polluting the seas by discharging it there.”


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