In Europe, this problematic is particularly felt in the Adriatic-Ionian, the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. Safety, security and environmental risks are aggravated by the fact that many of these munitions are of a chemical nature, containing chemical agents like sulphur mustard, nerve gas and lewisite.
Marine litter and pollution put the marine environment at risk. While a great proportion of marine litter originates from land-based sources, limiting waste discharges from ships also plays an essential role in efforts to preserve marine and coastal ecosystems. Based on international law, EU legislation requires vessels to bring the waste they generate on voyages to waste-reception facilities in port, and obliges EU ports to provide such facilities to ships using the port. Despite these developments, discharges at sea continue. In January 2018, the European Commission put forward a new legislative proposal seeking to improve the collection of ship waste while ensuring efficient maritime transport operations in ports.
EMSA’s service of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems is being used by the Spanish maritime safety agency SASEMAR in the southern province of Huelva for the purpose of identifying and monitoring oil spills as well as for additional assistance during search and rescue missions. SASEMAR is using this opportunity to see first-hand how RPAS can be of value to multipurpose maritime surveillance operations.
For the Council Shipping Working party.
In the framework of the EU Plastics Strategy, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has assessed the health and environmental risks posed by intentionally added microplastics and has concluded that an EU-wide restriction would be justified.