Marine Litter

Marine litter is a recognised and increasing problem for the marine environment. Marine litter is not only ugly – it can harm ocean ecosystems, wildlife, and humans. Recreational boating is not a significant contributor of marine litter, a high percentage of which comes from land based sources. However, the economic impact of marine litter is thought to be significant and it is a problem that needs to be addressed by all of society and recreational boaters represented by the European Boating Association (EBA) is acknowledge that they have a role to play.

The EBA recognises that the recreational boating community by its nature has a strong affinity with the marine environment and reducing the impact of its activities to an absolute minimum is a high priority. The EBA has participated in working groups to set standards for yacht harbours that include requirements for waste handling and collection facilities for all forms of waste that is generated by recreational boats.

The majority of recreational boats only make trips of limited duration and the need to throw any type of waste or litter overboard no longer exists. If facilities are available in recreational boat harbours (i.e. yacht harbours and marinas) they should suffice to collect this waste to allow proper disposal. Furthermore, the provision of such facilities should be obligatory.

At the same time it is acknowledged that public education is an ongoing concern and the EBA will use its resources to promote awareness of the protective measures required to obtain a Good Ecological Potential (GEP) for the marine environment within the recreational boating community.

Recreational boating is not a significant contributor of marine litter. Nevertheless, recreational boaters have a vested interest in protecting the environment where they spend their leisure time and a role to play in helping to reduce the incidence of marine litter. The EBA considers that the availability of efficient waste collecting facilities is a prerequisite to the avoidance of marine litter.

The EBA strongly urges all national maritime administrations to encourage the acceptance of ISO 13687 minimum standard for all recreational boat harbours and marinas as a pre-requisite for safeguarding marine waters and habitats.

The EBA will use its resources to promote general knowledge about the protective measures required to obtain a Good Ecological Potential (GEP) for the marine environment.

Click here to read the EBA position on Marine Litter in full