New opportunities for the EU to combat underwater noise pollution
The European Commission is updating European rules on pollution from ships.In early June 2023, the Commission published its proposal for the revision of European Directive 2005/35/EC, which deals with this issue. IFAW is pleased that our recommendation to recognise underwater noise as a pollutant has been acknowledged.
However, we find it short-sighted that the Commission proposes that new types of pollution can only be included in European regulations in the future, if they are covered by the international UN convention that deals with pollution from ships (MARPOL). While updated MARPOL Annexes for new pollutants are needed, this involves a very long process and there is urgent need to reduce pollution from ships in European waters now. Thus, we believe the European Commission is shifting away from its own responsibility to protect European waters from all sources of pollution.
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