A Declaration of a Voluntary Commitment to Save Our Seas

The oceans, lakes and rivers are the cradle of life, but are seriously endangered by the actions of man. The most serious threat is pollution. Current environmental controls and regulations are inadequate to control it. Accordingly, new and special efforts are urgently needed to remove this threat and to save the seas; therefore,

Believing that protection of the marine environment and exploitation of aquatic resources are compatible providing man exercises care, restraint and understanding; and

Recognizing that maritime transport is an essential part of peaceful domestic and international commerce which is the life blood of the world;

We, the Shipping Community of North America, comprising shipowners, operators, managers, agents, classification societies, service providers and seafarers, sincerely believe that:

  1. Although ship generated marine pollution is only a component of the total marine pollution problem, it is one that can virtually be eliminated with sufficient care and effort;
  2. Although international conventions and national laws and regulations designed to reduce and eliminate significantly to the abatement of such pollution exist, problems related to the monitoring and enforcement of laws and regulations persist;
  3. Even the most widely accepted convention, laws and regulations cannot be fully effective until every sector of the shipping industry is committed to the elimination of marine pollution;
  4. Such full commitment can only be achieved if the regulatory level is complemented by a high level of environmental consciousness;
  5. Such environmental consciousness can only be achieved through a concerted voluntary effort to educate and inform all sectors of the shipping industry, from shipowner to seaman.

Accordingly, we, the Shipping Community of North America, voluntarily commit ourselves to eliminate ship-generated marine pollution.