January 22, 2015
In a live webcast held at the Aquarium of the Pacific on January 21, officials from the Port of Long Beach and the Port of Los Angeles discussed new regulations aimed at improving air quality and reducing emissions that contribute to climate change. The new rules under annex VI of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) went into effect on January 1, 2015.
Rick Cameron, Port of Long Beach managing director of planning and environmental affairs; Chris Cannon, Port of Los Angeles director of environmental management; and Aquarium President and CEO Dr. Jerry R. Schubel explained the new rule and also talked about other non-regulatory efforts by both ports to reduce negative impact on the environment and benefit marine wildlife. The webcast was held in the Aquarium’s Ocean Science Center, and a dataset showing global shipping traffic was displayed on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Science on a Sphere®.
The new regulation set by the International Maritime Organization increases the area of coverage for compliance by vessels from 24 to 200 nautical miles from the coast. Vessels within 200 nautical miles must now slow down to a speed of 12 knots (previously 20 knots) and must adhere to stricter fuel standards to reduce sulfur oxide and other harmful emissions contributing to poor air quality and climate change. In his remarks Cannon emphasized the benefit to migrating whales—slower vessel speeds reduce the number of whale strikes.
“Both ports have set a good example of environmental stewardship with the non-regulatory efforts they have made,” Schubel said. “Vast improvements to air quality, water quality, and local wildlife habitats have been made in recent decades. The port complex is now home to diverse and abundant marine wildlife, from fish and sea lions to seabirds. This is an example of humans and wildlife coexisting in harmony.”
Full-length video from the webcast: