The warning comes from the 2014 Cruise Ship Report Card, put together by Friends of the Earth, which is part of a global network of environment groups that claim to represent more than 2 million activists. It reviewed US Environmental Protection Agency data and found that in 2014, cruise ships dumped more than a billion gallons of sewage into the ocean – a lot had been raw or poorly treated.
Friends of the Earth said the related illnesses that affect people include gastrointestinal diseases, diarrhea, ear, nose and throat problems, vomiting, hepatitis, and respiratory diseases. The report added that the sewage dumped into the ocean from cruise ships is also killing fish, shellfish, coral reefs and other aquatic life.
Local environmentalist Martin Dudley said he wants stricter local controls on cruise ships after the report revealed the amount of waste they dispose into the ocean.
He is of the view that government should also help cruise ships better manage the sewage.
In the report, cruise ships are rated on their sewage treatment, air pollution reduction and water quality compliance. Ships such as the Royal Caribbean’s got an overall grade of A, while some of the Disney Lines got a B-plus. But many of the Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean ships got a C-minus while 19 Carnival Cruises ships were graded F.
In total, only six of the 109 cruise ships that visit the Caribbean were given an A grade. Dudley said that only the good performers should be welcomed here.