EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The international maritime community has taken steps to restrict garbage discharged overboard from vessels to curb environmental harm. The fundamental restrictions were laid out by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in Annex V of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (1973) and its 1978 Protocol, together known as MARPOL 73/ 78. MARPOL Annex V bans all overboard disposal of plastics and limits other discharges based on the form of the material and the vessel's location and distance from shore. The regulated garbage includes solid wastes (other than sewage) generated during normal operations at sea.

The U.S. Congress ratified Annex V in 1987 and enacted the Marine Plastics Pollution Research and Control Act (MPPRCA) (P.L. 100-220). The Coast Guard is responsible for enforcing Annex V and the MPPRCA, but many federal agencies are involved in implementing the convention and the domestic law. These agencies, while making some progress in implementation, identified the lack of strategic planning and organization as a major obstacle. As a step toward improving national implementation of Annex V, the agencies asked the National Research Council (NRC) to conduct a comprehensive assessment and recommend a national strategy, Accordingly, the Committee on Shipborne Wastes was convened under the auspices of the NRC's Marine Board. The committee focused on vessel garbage, but in some respects this problem could not be separated from the problem of marine debris in general. Thus, elements of the committee's analysis and recommendations are applicable to the problem of marine debris in general as well as the specific objective of the study.



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Clean Ships Clean Ports Clean Oceans: Controlling Garbage and Plastic Wastes at Sea EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The international maritime community has taken steps to restrict garbage discharged overboard from vessels to curb environmental harm. The fundamental restrictions were laid out by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in Annex V of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (1973) and its 1978 Protocol, together known as MARPOL 73/ 78. MARPOL Annex V bans all overboard disposal of plastics and limits other discharges based on the form of the material and the vessel's location and distance from shore. The regulated garbage includes solid wastes (other than sewage) generated during normal operations at sea. The U.S. Congress ratified Annex V in 1987 and enacted the Marine Plastics Pollution Research and Control Act (MPPRCA) (P.L. 100-220). The Coast Guard is responsible for enforcing Annex V and the MPPRCA, but many federal agencies are involved in implementing the convention and the domestic law. These agencies, while making some progress in implementation, identified the lack of strategic planning and organization as a major obstacle. As a step toward improving national implementation of Annex V, the agencies asked the National Research Council (NRC) to conduct a comprehensive assessment and recommend a national strategy, Accordingly, the Committee on Shipborne Wastes was convened under the auspices of the NRC's Marine Board. The committee focused on vessel garbage, but in some respects this problem could not be separated from the problem of marine debris in general. Thus, elements of the committee's analysis and recommendations are applicable to the problem of marine debris in general as well as the specific objective of the study.

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Clean Ships Clean Ports Clean Oceans: Controlling Garbage and Plastic Wastes at Sea SOURCES OF VESSEL GARBAGE The committee examined individually each fleet operating in U.S. waters, because Annex V implementation constraints and opportunities vary so widely within the overall maritime community. The nine fleets examined were recreational boats; commercial fishing vessels; cargo ships; passenger day boats and ferries; small public vessels (Coast Guard and naval auxiliaries); offshore oil platforms, figs, and supply vessels; U.S. Navy surface combatant vessels; passenger cruise ships; and research vessels. Considerable amounts of garbage are generated by most if not all sectors, but available data concerning garbage generated and disposal practices are imprecise and incomplete. Detailed, comprehensive data on garbage generation have been collected only for the Navy. Neither U.S. nor international Annex V compliance and enforcement programs support the gathering of such data for other sectors. FATES AND EFFECTS OF MARINE DEBRIS Knowledge concerning the movement of marine debris is derived primarily from beach surveys; little data is available on debris that ends up in the sea or on the seabed. It is difficult to obtain such data without a systematic, worldwide effort involving the cooperation of multiple maritime nations, so an international data collection effort would be useful. The harmful effects of marine debris, particularly plastics, are all too evident, albeit not documented in a comprehensive and systematic manner. Plastics are causing considerable harm, including mortality among individual marine mammals, turtles, birds, and fish, as a result of either entanglement or ingestion. However, the overall ecological effects of marine debris cannot be established on the basis of surveys and other information-gathering efforts conducted to date, due primarily to the lack of a common framework for data collection, centralized data analysis, and information exchange. Scientists suspect that entire populations of animals may be affected adversely by debris in the water or washed up on shore, and that debris accumulations in the benthos may interfere with dissolved gas exchange between the pore waters of the sediment and the overlying waters, leading to hypoxic or anoxic1 environments that can kill some organisms. The committee concludes that (1) statistically valid long-term programs are needed to monitor the flux of plastics in the oceans, assess the accumulation of debris in the benthos, and monitor interactions of marine species with debris in the oceans and the impact of debris on pristine areas; and (2) the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA ) is best equipped of all federal agencies to lead a monitoring effort, because its Marine Entanglement Research Program (MERP) has collected much of the existing knowledge on marine de- 1   An hypoxic environment is oxygen deficient; anoxia results when oxygen is absent entirely.

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Clean Ships Clean Ports Clean Oceans: Controlling Garbage and Plastic Wastes at Sea bris, and because its Status and Trends Program could be expanded readily to monitor plastic debris. THE COMMITTEE'S ANALYSIS The committee adapted a hazard evolution model from the literature and used it to identify opportunities for enhancing implementation of Annex V in each maritime sector. The model establishes a framework for examining each stage of hazard evolution, from the satisfaction of human needs (such as the need for food, which may be wrapped in packaging that ends up as garbage) through the mitigation of consequences (such as through physical removal of debris during beach cleanups). The model also provides parameters to aid in the selection of interventions to halt or slow the evolution of the hazard (marine debris). Chief among these parameters are intelligence and control; the extent of available information and the means of influence determine in large part whether an intervention can be successful. The committee applied the model, with minor modifications, to each of the nine maritime sectors, seeking to identify means of intelligence and control as well as opportunities for intervention to enhance Annex V implementation. These sector-specific analyses resulted in the establishment of Annex V implementation objectives for each fleet. These objectives are summarized in Table ES-1. THE VESSEL GARBAGE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM The committee examined vessel garbage management as a system. One part of the system encompasses on-board garbage handling techniques and treatment technologies. The other, often-neglected component of the system is port reception facilities, which need to be linked to the local scheme for managing land-generated waste. The committee found that the link between the vessel and port components of the system is generally clumsy and sometimes non-functional. Source control (i.e., reducing amounts of packaging and other waste materials brought on board) is an important aspect of garbage management. For garbage that is generated, a range of on-board treatment technologies—including compactors, pulpers, shredders, and incinerators—is available or under development. However, these units generally are designed only for certain types of ships (e.g., the Navy's or passenger cruise ships) and, due to their size and operating features, are not appropriate to every type of vessel. Some fleets, such as fisheries, may need financial assistance in order to purchase and install appropriate equipment. In addition, several obstacles may be impeding safe and efficient on-board garbage management: the lack of federal guidelines on shipboard sanitation2 for 2   In this context, sanitation refers specifically to the promotion of hygiene and prevention of disease through proper handling and storage of garbage (not sewage).

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Clean Ships Clean Ports Clean Oceans: Controlling Garbage and Plastic Wastes at Sea TABLE ES-1 National Strategy for Annex V Implementation: Objectives for Each Maritime Sectora Sectors Objectives Recreational boats and their marinas • Achieve zero-discharge capability • Assure adequacy of port reception facilities • Assure that boaters are provided with appropriate Annex V information and education Commercial fisheries and their fleet ports • Achieve zero-discharge capability for fishing vessels that operate as day boats • Provide adequate port reception facilities • Assure access to appropriate on-board garbage handling and treatment technologies • Provide comprehensive vessel garbage management system • Assure that seagoing and management personnel are provided with appropriate Annex V information, education, and training • Improve Annex V enforcement • Extend U.S. cooperation to encourage compliance by foreign-flag vessels Cargo ships and their itinerary ports • Improve access to on-board garbage handling and treatment technologies • Provide comprehensive vessel garbage management system, including adequate port reception facilities • Assure that seagoing and management personnel are provided with appropriate Annex V information, education, and training • Fully exercise U.S. authority to improve compliance by foreign flag vessels and by all vessels in foreign waters Passenger day boats, ferries, and their terminals • Achieve zero-discharge capability, integrating the handling of vessel garbage into local solid waste management systems Small public vessels and their home ports • Improve on-board garbage handling and treatment technology • Assure adequacy of port reception facilities • Assure that seagoing and management personnel are provided with appropriate Annex V information, education, and training • Develop model Annex V compliance program Offshore platforms, rigs, supply vessels, and their shore bases • Achieve zero discharge at sea • Assure comprehensive garbage management system, including adequate port reception facilities

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Clean Ships Clean Ports Clean Oceans: Controlling Garbage and Plastic Wastes at Sea Sectors Objectives   • Assure that seagoing and management personnel are provided with appropriate Annex V information, education, and training Navy surface combatant vessels and their home ports • Develop plans for full Annex V compliance, including capability to achieve zero discharge in special areas, making the best use of existing technologies and strategies • Develop model Annex V implementation program Passenger cruise ships and their itinerary ports • Increase use of on-board garbage handling and treatment technologies • Assure comprehensive vessel garbage management system, including adequate port reception facilities • Assure that seagoing and management personnel are provided with appropriate Annex V information, education, and training • Exploit U.S. authority to improve compliance by foreign-flag vessels and by all vessels in foreign waters Research vessels and their ports of call • Provide model Annex V compliance program • Improve on-board garbage handling and treatment technology • Assure that seagoing and management personnel are provided with appropriate Annex V information, education, and training a In developing these objectives, the committee screened possible alternatives informally using six criteria: effectiveness, cost effectiveness, efficiency, timeliness of results, equity, and sustainability. The committee further emphasized actions ''upstream'' in the hazard evolution model (and therefore most effective from an environmental standpoint), and actions that would promote achievement of zero-discharge capability where feasible or required. The committee wishes to emphasize that an objective is something to be pursued, as opposed to an absolute requirement (as would be established by law), and that existing obstacles to Annex V compliance, however onerous, should not serve as justification for abandoning an objective. any sector other than cruise ships; the lack of quarantine standards based on compacted waste; and the lack of federal standards on shipboard incinerators. The committee concludes that (1) vessel garbage management must be viewed as a system that includes port reception facilities, and this system needs to be combined with the integrated solid waste management system for land-generated Waste; (2) there is a need for new and improved on-board garbage treatment technologies, a problem that may be resolved in part by adapting commercial equipment used in homes, retail establishments, and industry; (3) demonstration

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Clean Ships Clean Ports Clean Oceans: Controlling Garbage and Plastic Wastes at Sea projects, research on operations and maintenance issues, and information exchange are needed; (4) the Maritime Administration (MARAD) is the logical agency to coordinate development and deployment of on-board garbage handling technologies, due to its ongoing, broad-based marine technology assessment and development efforts; and (5) steps must be taken to resolve issues that may be impeding safe garbage storage and expanded use of compactors and incinerators. On the port side of the system, there is little evidence of strategic planning to support the provision of "adequate" garbage reception facilities as required by Annex V. The Coast Guard issues Certificates of Adequacy (COA) to large commercial and fishing ports and requires that reception facilities be provided at many other ports, but there are no technical standards for judging adequacy. Other shortcomings of this part of the system include the poorly developed infrastructure for recycling; the need to address the authorities of the Coast Guard, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the states concerning the integration of vessel garbage into the regional solid waste management system; the lack of full integration of the Annex V regime and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) program, which oversees quarantine of garbage from foreign sources that may harbor diseases; and the need to address economic issues, including who should pay for vessel garbage services, and how—questions that may require some federal attention to resolve. The committee concludes that (1) there is a need to assure accountability of both vessel operators and port operators; (2) recycling of vessel garbage needs to be promoted; (3) the EPA is the logical agency to establish the overall framework for improving the vessel/shore interface, due to its expertise in and authority for national management of solid waste; (4) the handling of APHIS waste needs to be integrated as fully as possible with the Annex V regime and the system for managing land-generated waste; and (5) there is a need to address economic issues, including the cost of technologies to vessel operators, trade-offs with garbage disposal services, and who should pay for garbage services and how. EDUCATION AND TRAINING Education has a strategic role to play in Annex V implementation because the oceans are too vast to monitor comprehensively. Seafarers therefore must be convinced to comply voluntarily and given the knowledge, training, and motivation to do so. A number of education and training programs have been carried out in support of Annex V implementation, most notably through MERP. While these efforts have been instrumental in the progress of Annex V implementation to date, they have been neither comprehensive nor long-term. These features will be needed to raise Annex V implementation to a higher level. A successful

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Clean Ships Clean Ports Clean Oceans: Controlling Garbage and Plastic Wastes at Sea national Annex V education and training program would need to include research, execution, evaluation, and innovation. The committee concludes that (1) a sustained national program of Annex V education and training is needed that reaches all levels of all maritime sectors (including visitors and other members of the public, employees, and management) as well as non-traditional target groups such as the packaging industry and government officials; provides for information exchange, both domestically and internationally; and stimulates innovation; and (2) a publicly chartered, independent foundation offers the most promise for coordinating and enhancing a successful, long-term program of education, training, and information exchange. OVERARCHING ISSUES Development of a successful Annex V implementation strategy demands attention to three overarching issues that affect all fleets, require effective national coordination, and involve international aspects. The first issue is the need for overall national leadership in Annex V implementation. Many strategies for improving Annex V implementation require the cooperation of multiple agencies and organizations and diverse maritime sectors. The committee concludes that (1) U.S. government and government-sup-ported fleets, to set an example, need to work systematically to comply with Annex V, upgrade crew training and provisioning practices, and encourage transfer of successful experiences to other fleets; (2) centralized oversight, direction, and coordination of Annex V implementation is needed; (3) the United States needs to continue to take a leadership role in the international community with respect to Annex V implementation; (4) a permanent national commission offers the most promise as a means of providing consistent, independent, expert oversight and coordination of Annex V and MPPRCA implementation, as well as international leadership; and (5) memoranda of understanding (MOUs) need to be negotiated between relevant agencies and observed. The second issue is enforcement3 of Annex V. The Coast Guard is taking steps to expand its use of internationally recognized authorities over foreign-flag vessels. The committee identified a number of additional opportunities for improving enforcement. U.S. authorities could work through IMO to resolve ambiguities concerning the extent of port state4 authorities with respect to Annex V enforcement; extend the requirement for garbage logs to foreign-flag vessels; 3   Enforcement, for purposes of this report, includes all actions taken to obtain some remedy for violations of Annex V. Such actions may include pursuit of a civil or criminal case against an alleged violator, referral of a case involving a foreign-flag vessel to the appropriate flag state, and record keeping undertaken as a means of keeping track of repeat violators. 4   A port state is a nation in which foreign-flag vessels make port calls.

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Clean Ships Clean Ports Clean Oceans: Controlling Garbage and Plastic Wastes at Sea streamline enforcement by issuing "tickets" in civil cases, particularly in the fisheries and recreational boating sectors; require that ports provide receipts for garbage off-loaded into their reception facilities, and then compare the receipts to vessel garbage logs; require that cargo and cruise ships off-load garbage at U.S. port calls; enlist the assistance of additional government agencies in reporting Annex V violations; encourage vessel operators to report inadequate reception facilities; and conduct public awareness campaigns urging citizens to report illegal garbage disposal. The committee concludes that (1) enforcement action must be taken and followed up in every case where the United States can assert jurisdiction, even when the violator is a foreign-flag vessel; (2) the Coast Guard is the appropriate agency to lead expanded enforcement efforts; and (3) the Coast Guard needs to take additional steps to enhance enforcement where most needed. Accurate record keeping and analysis of garbage records could be useful in determining where special enforcement efforts are needed as well as in measuring progress in Annex V implementation. The most easily implemented record-keeping system may be a combined Coast Guard/APHIS database on vessel garbage handling, making use of existing APHIS records of vessel boardings and garbage off-loading, and information from garbage logs and Coast Guard enforcement reports. The committee concludes that, to make the best use of existing information and enforcement assets, systematic government record keeping and analysis is needed. The third issue is special areas, which must be taken into account in devising a U.S. strategy for Annex V implementation. These are areas designated under Annex V where, because of heavy vessel traffic and/or highly sensitive ecosystems, IMO prohibits overboard discharges of all garbage except food waste.5 These restrictions mean that vessels operating in special areas need to achieve zero-discharge capability. In addition, the United States needs to find ways to help assure that sufficient numbers of adequate port reception facilities exist in the nearby Wider Caribbean special area. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR GOVERNMENT ACTION While it is the responsibility of individual mariners to conform with international standards on garbage management and disposal, the federal government can take important steps to facilitate, promote, and compel compliance. Recom- 5   Eight special areas have been designated under Annex V. The requirements are in force in the Antarctic Ocean, Baltic Sea, and the North Sea. Once IMO determines that sufficient numbers of adequate port reception facilities have been provided, the mandates will take effect in the Black Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea, and—of chief concern to the United States—the Wider Caribbean, which includes the Gulf of Mexico.

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Clean Ships Clean Ports Clean Oceans: Controlling Garbage and Plastic Wastes at Sea mendations for government action were derived from the analyses of each maritime sector, as well as examination of the vessel garbage management system and issues related to education and training, national leadership, Annex V enforcement, special areas, and measuring progress in Annex V implementation. Legislative Actions Improve Management of Vessel Garbage To improve management of vessel garbage and meet U.S. national and international commitments to implement Annex V, the Congress should direct EPA to use its current resources to establish an overall framework that (1) incorporates the vessel garbage management system into the system for managing land-generated waste; (2) requires states to include in their solid waste management plans the disposal of garbage from vessels docked at their ports; (3) establishes technical standards for reception facilities appropriate to each type of port; (4) provides for accountability by requiring commercial ports to issue receipts for garbage discharged at their facilities, and by assuring that states follow up reports of inadequate port reception facilities; and (5) promotes recycling of vessel garbage. The EPA should obtain assistance from the Coast Guard, the states, port and terminal operators, the private sector, and the maritime communities and should make use of the forthcoming IMO manual on reception facilities. National Leadership The Congress should establish a permanent national commission with a clear legislative mandate establishing its authority to oversee the national Annex V and MPPRCA implementation effort. The panel should be modeled on other national commissions, such as the Marine Mammal Commission, established to address major issues of concern. The legislation should outline the commission's responsibilities and authorize funding Sufficient for execution of its duties. The commission should (1) review information on the sources, amounts, effects, and control of vessel garbage; (2) work with federal agencies to assure they carry out their roles and responsibilities and share relevant information; (3) assure that MOUs for Annex V implementation are negotiated and observed; (4) make recommendations to federal agencies on actions or policies related to identification and control of sources of vessel garbage; (5) provide support for research, regulatory, and policy analyses; (6) provide the Congress with periodic reports on the state of the problem, progress in research and management measures, and factors limiting the effectiveness of implementation; (7) oversee an Annex V educational foundation; and (8) oversee international aspects of Annex V implementation.

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Clean Ships Clean Ports Clean Oceans: Controlling Garbage and Plastic Wastes at Sea Sustained Education and Training The Congress should charter and endow a foundation to coordinate a sustained, long-term, national program that would assure development and execution of focused Annex V education and training programs for all maritime sectors as well as non-traditional target groups and provide for domestic and international exchange of information on Annex V compliance strategies. The program should include research, execution, and evaluation components and should promote innovation. To develop and carry out projects, the foundation should award grants to private industry and associations, academic institutions, public agencies, and non-profit organizations. Model Programs The Congress should require that federal and federally supported fleets, to set an example, work systematically toward full Annex V compliance, upgrade crew training and provisioning practices, and encourage transfer of successful experiences to commercial fleets. Federal Agency Actions Coast Guard The Coast Guard should require cargo and cruise ships lacking comprehensive on-board garbage management systems to off-load garbage at each U.S. port call. Vessel garbage logs and on-board garbage handling and treatment technologies should be examined during routine inspections. The Coast Guard also should require vessel operators to report inadequate port reception facilities using the IMO forms and Should follow up these reports to ensure that the necessary changes are made. If ports are required to issue receipts for garbage discharged into their reception facilities, then the Coast Guard should examine these receipts when reviewing vessel garbage logs. In addition, the Coast Guard should require ports to have the necessary state permits as a condition of granting a COA. And, unless and until the COA program is merged with EPA's vessel garbage management effort, the Coast Guard should incorporate into the program requirements that port reception facilities meet EPA technical standards and have any requisite state and EPA approvals. The Coast Guard, together with the Department of State (DOS) and Department of Justice, should continue, consistent with the nation's international obligations, to enforce Annex V aggressively against foreign-flag violators and should pursue efforts at the international level to resolve any outstanding ambiguities concerning the rights and obligations of port states with respect to control of pollution from vessels. Requirements for garbage logs should be extended to

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Clean Ships Clean Ports Clean Oceans: Controlling Garbage and Plastic Wastes at Sea foreign-flag vessels. The Coast Guard also should adopt a policy of issuing tickets in civil cases if pilot projects already under way show this streamlined enforcement approach to be successful. In addition, the Coast Guard should request the assistance of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), Minerals Management Service, and state marine police in reporting Annex V violations. Annex V information should be distributed through the Coast Guard's voluntary fishing vessel examination program, and the agency should pursue aggressively its campaign to encourage reports of violations by the public. The Coast Guard and APHIS should collaborate to develop, maintain, and use for enforcement purposes an Annex V record-keeping system incorporating records from vessel boardings, vessel garbage logs, enforcement reports, and, if a receipt system is instituted, port receipts for off-loaded garbage. The Coast Guard should issue a periodic report listing Annex V enforcement actions and the assistance provided by other federal agencies and marine police units in the states. Analyses of data from the Coast Guard/APHIS record-keeping system should be included. Such reports would allow the Congress to evaluate the adequacy of appropriations for Annex V implementation projects and enforcement. Department of State (DOS) The DOS should try to resolve, through IMO or other avenues, the procedural obstacles that block garbage off-loading at some foreign ports. The DOS also should draw attention to the need for an international data collection effort through IMO and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) The EPA should comply with the congressional mandate (recommended earlier) to oversee the port side of the vessel garbage management system. The EPA also should adopt IMO standards for shipboard incinerators. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) With the assistance of EPA, NOAA should establish statistically valid, long-term monitoring programs to gather data on the flux of marine debris, the physical transport and fate of marine debris, accumulation of plastic on beaches and in the benthos, wildlife interactions with debris, and the impact of debris on pristine areas. NOAA also should assure that the results of its monitoring programs are communicated to agencies responsible for Annex V implementation and enforcement. The NMFS should offer financial assistance to fisheries fleets for research on and investments in on-board garbage handling and treatment technology. The

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Clean Ships Clean Ports Clean Oceans: Controlling Garbage and Plastic Wastes at Sea NMFS should waive policy conditions, such as minimum cost requirements, that limit access to these programs. The NMFS also should discourage abandonment of fishing gear, particularly in intensively fished areas. And, where appropriate and feasible, fisheries observers should be enlisted to monitor garbage disposal practices. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) The APHIS regime should be integrated as fully as possible with the Annex V implementation program and the system for managing land-generated waste. Cargo and cruise ships should be required to off-load APHIS waste at U.S. port calls. In addition, APHIS should consider developing standards based on compacted waste. Maritime Administration (MARAD) The Maritime Administration should develop and execute an R&D program that addresses needs for on-board garbage treatment equipment; alteration of commercial equipment; technology demonstration and information exchange; and operational, maintenance, and cost issues. MARAD should obtain technical support from the Navy and maintain contact with the various fleets through NOAA's Sea Grant Marine Advisory Service and the NMFS. The technology development program should be responsive to the needs of the Coast Guard, NOAA, and other government fleets, as well as the private sector.