Cleaning up the shipping industry
While the shock at the horrible ecological catastrophe off Spain is fresh in our minds, we should focus on solutions to address this problem. We may be largely helpless to do much about the spilled oil, but we can push national governments and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to prevent unsafe tankers from sailing under flags of convenience.
Flags of convenience (FOC) states profit from allowing foreign ship operators to register vessels under their 'flag' but fail to effectively monitor and oversee 'their' ships. The FOC system turns regulation into a business and allows a competitive advantage that encourages sub-standard shipping practices. In order to improve maintenance and inspection globally of all vessels, a new global agreement is required which eliminates the FOC practice, holds flag states responsible and accountable for enforcement of regulations, and gives port states considerably more authority to inspect and detain sub-standard vessels.
Please take a moment now to send a letter to the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization from here:
You can also participate in the very active discussion on the Prestige tanker spill here: