Shoring up

Published: Saturday 15 May 2004

The Baltic Sea, bar Russian waters, was declared a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (pssa) at the 51st session of the International Maritime Organization's Marine Environment Protection Committee in London. An area so designated gets special protection because of its ecological, socio-economic or scientific significance. Eight Baltic Sea nations -- Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden -- agreed to establish stricter environmental laws. But Russia reportedly opposed the move as it could mean limiting the access of oil tankers.

In the meeting, the Galapagos archipelago (Ecuador) and the waters surrounding Canary Islands (Spain) were designated pssas. The committee approved a resolution on guidelines for transporting vegetable oil. A plan of action was also cleared to develop guidelines to implement the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ship's Ballast Water and Sediments adopted in February.

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