The protection of marine environment has been one of concerns in the maritime community. This dissertation identifies shipborn substances which are harmful to the marine environment and relevant international conventions regulating the discharge of those substances. The requirements stipulated in related conventions and preventive methods against pollution caused by shipborn harmful substances are especially the main focus of this study.
International Maritime Organization(IMO) has developed Protocol of 1978 relating to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973(MARPOL 73/78). The Annex VI on Regulations for the Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships, which was adopted in 1997, will enter into force on 19 May 2005. IMO has also adopted International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-fouling Systems on Ships, 2001 and International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004.
As per regulations for the prevention of air pollution from ships, relevant governments and industries have been preparing for the implementation of its requirement since its adoption in 1997, by developing IMO compliant marine engines and low sulphur fuel oil. Hence, no problem is foreseen prior to the entry into force date of 19th May 2005.
However, the CO2 matter has emerged as an issue to be dealt with in IMO because the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has fulfilled the criteria for entry into force in November 2004. Therefore, it is envisaged that the regulation on CO2 emission from ships will be materialized in the near future as the IMO is discussing this matter at Marine Environment Protection Committee in order to come up with emission requirements. Therefore, there is a need to develop equipment to lower CO2 emission from ships by closely monitoring the global trend.
International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-fouling Systems on Ships was adopted on 5 October 2001. This convention will prohibit the use of harmful organotins in anti-fouling paints used on ships from 1 January 2003. Korea has analyzed the harmful environmental effects of organotin compounds on marine environment and has restricted the use of harmful anti-fouling system on board all Korean flagged ships since 16 September 2004. This new measures will help reduce pollution caused by organotin compounds used in the anti-fouling system in territorial waters of Korea.
Even though the TBT-free anti-fouling paint has already been on the market, it is widely recognized that the less effective anti-fouling capability reduces the speed of ship. This is the reason why there has been a delay in the entry into force of the Convention. In this respect, Korea should develop TBT-free anti-fouling paint with high anti-fouling capability not only to ensure cost-effective operation of ships but to export such paints to other countries.
IMO adopted International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments on 13 February 2004 to prevent potentially devastating effects of the spread of harmful aquatic organisms carried by ships' ballast water. Since this convention is expected to be entered into force in 2009, equipment and provisions for ballast water treatment on board ship need to be developed in advance. Furthermore, the government should take necessary steps such as the establishment of a national law and the designation of discharging area, etc.
It is generally agreed that full implementation of international convention on the protection of oil pollution and harmful substances pollution from ships have greatly contributed to protecting marine environment. It is therefore necessary to have good understanding on the recently adopted international convention such as regulations for the prevention of air pollution from ships, Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-fouling Systems and Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments for the protection of pristine marine environment.