How does the development of shipping technology affect water pollution?

Shipping has always been at the heart of international trade. Access to the sea gave nations/economies access to new markets and new opportunities for growth. However, shipping also has an impact on the environment, including marine life and ocean habitats. And so the industry has turned to technology for more sustainable, eco-friendly solutions. 


1. Ballast Free System

Ballast water discharges is most likely to carry invasive species from one territory to another, disrupting the balance in the ocean or water bodies and causing contamination. Ballast-free systems eliminate this issue. This system follows the guidelines from the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Ballast can also introduce invasive species in different parts of the ocean and into the land as well. You could also seek out essays on sustainability acts and plans to strengthen shipping protocols that control polluted water.


2. Anti-Fouling Hull Paint

Historically, the exterior coating of ships contained hazardous chemicals and degradable materials that pollute waters, attract marine growth and, over time, slow the ship down. Anti-fouling paints are far safer for the environment, and they also preserve the hull's exterior, reducing fuel and maintenance costs for shipowners.



3. Garbage and waste management system

Most marine operators have started adopting ideas and newer ways of utilizing waste and garbage management for proper stowage and segregation of scraps such as batteries, food, toilet wastes, metallic wastes, and more. By giving priorities to zero dumping policies, ships can now ensure less trash is being thrown into the ocean. A safe and systematic procedure of ecological waste management can minimize cargo ship pollution.


4. Recycling

Recycling on ships can be a great way to practice eco-friendly shipping. Owners and operators can prepare and implement a waste management plan for the sea. With the introduction of active recycling on land, technologies have started prioritizing recycling in the ocean as well. Some ways have included reusing paper, crushing materials like paper, metal, and more, old oil as lubricants, adaptation of marine biodegradable bags to dispose of food, and more. In addition to the restriction of some hazardous materials on the ship, recycling can effectively help create a better balance.


5. Reception Facilities

Most shipping technologies have now started working with IMO for the provision of adequate reception facilities to ensure minimal water pollution. Some of these facilities include proper inspection of the ships, standardization of garbage segregation, attention to the technical aspect of a ship that might lead to an oil leak, and more. There are water pollution essays online to understand such reception facilities as well. IMO has established guidelines to ensure a uniform practice of taking care of waste delivery systems in ships.


6. Avoiding Sensitive Areas

With the establishment of IMO, we now have access to the right information on the sensitive regions of the ocean. To not disrupt the balance in these regions, newer technologies have also started working with IMO to ensure that they have proper rerouting measures taken. It is being done effectively with technical advancement and training to the helmsman. Newer shipping technologies include thorough directional training for shipping as well.


7. Low-sulfur fuel

Many newer technologies today have started adopting the idea of fuels with low sulfur content. Low sulfur fuels reduce the cargo ship emissions of diesel combustion in water. While it is practically impossible to change the use of conventional fuels in ships, this reduction in Sulfur emission can reduce the possibility of corroding metals, killing of healthy marine bacteria, and carbon storage.

8. Solar cell propulsion 

In order to reduce fossil fuel consumption and operate in a more environmentally friendly way, the shipping industry is looking towards integrating renewable energy technologies. By combining solar with wind, it creates hybrid models for propulsion, reduces harmful emissions and lowers fuel consumption. 


9. Slow travel

One would think that traveling fast can reduce ships’ exposure time on water pollution. However, large ships that travel at high velocities can burn 280-300 metric tons of sulfur fuel, whereas only 80-90 metric tons when at a lower speed. Modern technologies have started incorporating and adjusting time in their travel that can reverse or save the water from possible pollution levels.

In this way, with the establishment of many shipping rules and guidelines, newer technologies have highly prioritized the health of the water bodies on which they travel. There is lots of content available online on water pollution that can help you understand how modern technologies work. Be it through advancement for waste management or system development, today newer shipping technologies have started making it a priority to either reverse or minimize the water pollution levels they cause.

This article was written by Charlotte Richards, who has worked for decades in the field of water management and marine health. With her expertise, she works with different agencies that prioritize measures to create a balance in water pollution. This article was made possible with a thorough investigation of the development in the shipping industry.