87 ships fined 5.7 million liras for illegal dumping in Turkey’s northern seas
Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality has imposed fines amounting to 5.7 million Turkish Liras (around $1.05 million) to 87 ships for polluting Turkey’s northern Marmara Sea and Black Sea with solid, petroleum-derived and ballast wastes in the past year.
The municipality has been carrying out air and land control missions with two hydroplanes, four drones and 81 high-resolution cameras to detect the vessels polluting the waters and disrupting aquatic ecosystems, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on March 10.
Once authorities at Istanbul’s Yenikapı Sea Control Center locate a vessel breaching Turkey’s environment law, they will dispatch a peripheral control boat to the designated area to take samples from the wastes for laboratory examination.
While vessels dumping wastes, observable with the naked eye, are immediately fined, vessels detected to dump hazardous wastes upon laboratory analysis receive administrative fines later.
The record fine ever imposed on a vessel within the scope of new environmental regulations was 2.7 million Turkish Liras (roughly $495,000) off the shore of Istanbul’s Zeytinburnu district.
A recent regulation in December 2018 on environmental law stipulates that vessels polluting the seas with solid, contaminated ballast and petroleum-derived wastes, along with domestic water discharge, will be imposed with fines 12-fold of the previous decision.
A workshop held in Istanbul last year by the UNDP had said that 144 tons of plastic go to seas daily in Turkey.
The workshop, named “Time to Act for Plastic Waste in Turkey: Workshop on Environment-Friendly Production, Responsible Consumption and Effective Recycling,” drew attention to the Mediterranean, an environmental heritage, becoming a sea with the highest plastic pollution in the world.
Turkey has accelerated its anti-pollution environmental policies over the past year to effectively combat climate change, along with a planned zero-waste town to control environmental pollution.