Contrary to a May 10 editorial, "Floating Sewers," the cruise ship industry is not a major contributor to maritime pollution, but it is committed to helping solve this problem.
Three years ago, International Council of Cruise Lines members adopted stringent waste management practices that are written into each vessel's safety management system and are subject to internal and external audits, as well as flag and port state inspections. Cruise lines have invested more than $50 million since 2001 in developing and retrofitting wastewater purification systems on more than 30 cruise ships.
The International Council of Cruise Lines has formed a partnership with Conservation International to explore ways to protect biodiversity and promote practices that further minimize the cruise industry's environmental impact. Through this partnership, a panel of marine experts is reviewing environmental issues and industry practices and will provide advice on how to deal with these challenges.
The current regulatory framework, combined with the cruise line industry's voluntary efforts to adopt technology that is environmentally friendly, makes the bills proposed by Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) and Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.) unnecessary.
These bills, if enacted, would single out an industry that represents only 0.2 percent of the world's ships. The oceans are cruise lines' home. Keeping them clean is good for the environment, good for our passengers and good for our business.
International Council of Cruise Lines