Summary

Marine pollution legislation affects those who:

  • wish to dump or deposit any substance at sea

  • discharge sewage or other waste from ships

  • are at risk of causing oil pollution at sea.

Marine pollution is pollution of the marine environment in territorial and international waters. It is subject to a substantial body of national and international law. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is the UN agency responsible for improving maritime safety and preventing pollution from ships.

The main marine pollutants are oil, waste and sewage. Discharges from land-based activities, such as industry, agriculture and wastewater treatment, also impact on the quality of the marine environment.

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