Cruise ships have faced scrutiny from many environmentalists for years over their harmful emissions, which have been known to affect natural marine habitats and marine life. Some regions are designated preservation areas, and if a cruise ship is found to have dumped waste or emit other harmful pollutants in the area, they are potentially liable for expensive fines. Though there are rules regulating and limiting the amount of pollution ships can emit, not all cruise lines abide by these laws.
In the U.S., the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency helps protect against cruise line discharge and waste. According to the EPA, cruise lines produce an excessive amount of garbage, sewage, and wastewater, which, unfortunately, ends up getting discharged into the sea, creating a threat to ecosystems, marine life, and even beach-goers. Sadly, there’s only so much the EPA as it seems as though all the policies and all the regulations still don’t prevent cruise ships from doing what they want when it comes to waste dumping.
According to Friends of the Earth, another environmental protection organization, the number of cruise lines committing these violations are even greater than we thought. Each year, the organization issues a Cruise Ship Report Card, which analyzes major cruise lines in their ability to stay up to date with environmental protection regulations and how each line goes about implementing pollution-reducing tactics. And each year, most cruise lines receive dreadful scores of “C” grades and less!