Fill the gap: Developing management strategies to control garbage pollution from fishing vessels

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39 Citations (Scopus)


It is widely documented that marine debris is detrimental to the marine ecological environment. While there are various sources of marine debris, that generated by ships constitutes a significant proportion. Annex V of MARPOL 73/78 is to regulate the discharge of garbage from ships; in particular, it prohibits all kinds of plastics from being discharged into ocean. However, most fishing vessels are virtually exempt from such regulations due to their low gross tonnage, below 400. t. Given the great number of fishing vessels operating around the world, it can be argued that fishing vessels are a common source of marine debris. This paper aims to propose measures that will fill the gap in international regulations in addressing the problem of vessel-source garbage pollution. An understanding of what constitutes the underlying causes leading to fishers' decision on debris disposal is needed when designing effective measures to reduce garbage pollution from ships. Thus, this paper seeks to identify factors that have the potential to influence fishers' disposal behavior and investigate the association between factors and fishers' intention of bringing garbage back to port. Major factors of a well-developed recycling practice, adequate collection facilities placed at port, fishers' positive views towards marine environments and provision of rewards are identified, which have significant implications for management strategies. Finally, the papers offers suggestions regarding future efforts focusing on debris reduction strategies to further address the problem of garbage pollution from fishing vessels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-40
Number of pages7
JournalMarine Policy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jul

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aquatic Science
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Law


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