Promoting Uniform International Rules for Sustainable Shipping
A trip to the shopping mall shows just how much we depend on imported goods: every day, we rely on products that are shipped from all over the world. In fact, 90 per cent of all trade moves by ships. But while the shipping industry helps fuel our economies, it also impacts our health and that of our oceans.
Ships produce pollution and wastes—ballast waters containing exotic species, oily waters from engine rooms and cargo tanks, garbage, sewage, antifouling paint, etc.—that are harmful to the environment. They can also injure marine mammals and spill their fuel and cargo by accident, putting coastal communities at risk. Ships’ smokestack emissions contribute to climate change and negatively impact human health.
Sustainable shipping and safe, timely delivery of cargo rely on rules being uniform. But despite international agreements, this uniformity doesn’t always exist. As Canada Research Chair in Maritime Law and Policy, Dr. Aldo Chircop is studying jurisdictional and regulatory tools for navigation and shipping with the aim of promoting uniform rules that will protect our health and environment.
Chircop is looking at the factors that facilitate and constrain uniform international shipping standards and their enforcement. He is also examining how Canadian maritime law can be developed further and harmonized with international rules.
Ultimately, Chircop’s research will help policy makers, maritime administrators, and courts make decisions that support trade and commerce while making shipping safer and more sustainable.