Dumping at Sea

Historically, the oceans and seas have been used to dispose wastes resulting from human activities. Since the past two centuries, waste such as sludge resulting from sewage treatment operations, tailings left over from mining, dredging of ports and rivers, residues from chemical industries, ash from power stations and other unrecycled wastes have been dumped at sea.

In 1972, the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment recommended that Governments ensure that “ocean dumping by their nationals anywher e, or by any person in areas under their jurisdiction, is controlled and the Governments continue to work towards the completion of, and bringing into force as soon as possible of, an over-all instrument for the control of ocean dumping.Â…..

The Inter-Governmental Conference on the Convention on the Dumping of Wastes at Sea, which met in London in November 1972 at the invitation of the United Kingdom, adopted the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter generally known as the London Convention. When the Convention came into force on 30 August 1975, IMO was made responsible for the Secretariat duties related to it. The Convention has a global character, and contributes to the international control and prevention of marine pollution. It prohibits the dumping of certain hazardous materials, requires a prior special permit for the dumping of a number of other identified materials and a prior general permit for other wastes or matter.

In 1996, Parties adopted the 1996 Protocol. It entered into force in 2006.

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