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Chapter 6 - COMPLIANCE

6.1 Global conventions to mitigate marine pollution
6.2 National legislative bodies (BOBP)
6.3 Harbour management


6.1 Global conventions to mitigate marine pollution

The fishery harbour and its contiguous waters are part of the coastal zone. Pollution of the harbour has direct effects on the coastal zone and vice versa. In the Bay of Bengal region, national and local legislations exist that are meant to regulate potential environmental threats. Most fisheries harbours run by the Government have formulated basic harbour rules and regulations that focus mainly on port dues, vessel registrations, and port usage. However, not all countries in the region have ratified international conventions on marine pollution prevention. Enforcement of existing laws is a significant problem in most countries as there is no single institutional framework for the marine sector.

Since 1954 a number of global agreements dealing with marine pollution have been adopted:

· International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution of the Sea by oil (OILPOL), 1954;

· Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and other Matter (London-Dumping Convention), 1972;

· International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, as modified by the protocol of 1978 (MARPOL 73/78);

· United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas, 1982; and

· International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Cooperation, 1990.

Of immediate relevance to the fishery harbour manager is MARPOL 73/78 and its Annexes. Accession to MARPOL 73/78 and its implementation require the participation of the following:

· Government (the political body having power to conclude international agreements)
· Legal Administration
· Marine Administration
· Ship owners
· Port Authorities

The political desire of a State to accede to or ratify MARPOL 73/78 is fundamental. Governments may wish to become parties to MARPOL 73/78 as a result of:

1. Marine environmental concerns for waters under their jurisdiction;
2. Benefits to shipowners (worldwide acceptance of ships);
3. Benefits to their ports (means of control of pollution); or
4. Concern for worldwide environment.

It should be recognized that whereas parties to MARPOL 73/78 have obligations, they also have privileges. If pollution occurs within their territorial waters they can prosecute. A non-party, on the other hand, does not have the privilege of prosecuting any ship that pollutes its shoreline.

The main concern of port authorities under MARPOL 73/78 is the provision of adequate reception facilities for:

· Oily wastes
· Noxious liquid substances
· Sewage
· Garbage

For fishery harbours, oily wastes, sewage and garbage reception facilities are the main concerns if the State has ratified MARPOL 73/78.

6.2 National legislative bodies (BOBP)

The enacting institutions in BOBP member-countries are many and the subject matter is diverse. The list of acts and decrees of relevance to marine pollution prevention existing in each country is given below:





Enacting Ministry


Regulation 20/1990

Water pollution control

President's office

Decree KM 86/1990

Prevention of oil pollution by ships

Ministry of Transportation

Decree KM 215/A1506

Provision of waste reception facilities in ports

Ministry of Transportation

Decree 46/1986

Ratification of MARPOL 73/78

President's office

Decree 18/1978

Ratification of international fund for compensation due to oil pollution damage

President's office

Regulation 5/PRT/1990

Water quality control

Ministry of Public Works


Merchant Shipping Ordinance 1952

Pollution from ships

Ministry of Transportation

Environmental Quality Act 1974

Pollution from dumping

Exclusive Economic Zone Act 1984

Reception facilities

Environmental Quality Order 1987

Construction of fishery harbours

Department of Environment

Expansion of fishery harbour

Environmental Quality Act 1974

Sewage and Industrial effluent discharge

Department of Environment


National Environmental Quality Act 1975

Water pollution control


Public Health Act 1941, 1984

Public Health Disposal of Solid waste

Ministry of Public Health

Provincial Authority Acts

Water supply and drainage

Local provincial government


Territorial Water and Maritime Zone Act & Rules 1974, 1977

Marine pollution prevention

Department of Environment

Environmental Pollution Control Ordinance 1977

Industrial and domestic wastewater discharge


Protection of the Marine Environment of Bangladesh Act (Draft)

Oily waste pollution by ships Reception facilities for waste in harbours



Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1974 amended 1988

Effluents and waste disposal

State Pollution Control Boards

Sri Lanka

Coast Conservation Act No. 57 of 1981

Coast conservation

Central Environmental Authority

Sri Lanka Ports Authority Act No. 1979

Port Management

Port Authority
Marine Pollution Prevention Authority


Bill on environmental legislation submitted to Parliament

6.3 Harbour management

6.3.1 Duties of a harbour master
6.3.2 Duties of the administrative officer
6.3.3 Duties of the maintenance officer
6.3.4 Duties of the statistician
6.3.5 Duties of a hygiene officer/health officer
6.3.6 Fishery harbour rules and regulations

Many different operational systems exist in the Bay of Bengal region for the management of fishery harbours. They may be broadly classified as:

· Privately owned: Ownership by a person or company involved in processing.

· Autonomous Port Trust: Control by a Governing Board or Port Trust represented by port users, local or State Government bodies and Fisheries Departments.

· Municipally owned: Governed by committees of members drawn from the municipal council.

· State owned: Administered by a board of directors appointed by the Government.

· State owned: Leased to a co-operative society.

Irrespective of the type of the ownership, the most effective way to manage a fishery harbour is by establishing a Port Management Body whose duties should include:

· Compliance with laws, regulations and rules governing the use of the facility (landing fees, berthing charges, sale of water and fuel etc.);

· Compliance with environmental conservation and monitoring measures adopted by the planning authorities (waste recycling, spent oil recovery, waste disposal, etc.);

· Control over other users when the facility also serves boats other than fishing vessels.

In order that the Port Management Body is able to carry out its functions, it must be:

1. Commensurate with the size of the facility and the responsibilities expected of it (one person may be enough for a small landing place, but a group of persons may be necessary for larger ports).

2. Adequately funded to function as intended (landing fees, berthing charges and other levies should cover maintenance and running costs).

3. Considerate to the needs of other users of the harbour (if the jetty also serves passenger ferries).

A typical port management body should normally include a harbour master, an administrative officer; a maintenance officer, a fisheries statistics officer; fish auction/marketing officer; and a health officer. In larger ports, these officers need support staff.

6.3.1 Duties of a harbour master

The harbour master is usually in overall charge of a harbour and decides on how the facility is used. Ideally he should have a maritime background and should be fully conversant with maritime regulations and the navigational and operational needs of fishing vessels. In addition, he should be knowledgeable in:

· National legislation;

· Maintenance of the harbour infrastructure (engineering, dredging, navigation equipment, refrigeration, water supply, water treatment etc.)

· Fishing methods and fishing regulations; and

· Public hygiene and pollution prevention.

6.3.2 Duties of the administrative officer

His main tasks would normally include maintenance of records; accounts; collection of berthing charges; sale of water and fuel; recruitment of harbour personnel and levying of fines imposed by the harbour master.

6.3.3 Duties of the maintenance officer

His main tasks are the upkeep of navigational equipment; updating hydrographic information of the harbour basin, entrance and approach; maintenance and monitoring of the water supply system; and maintenance of water treatment and refrigeration systems.

6.3.4 Duties of the statistician

He is generally from the Fisheries Department deputed to the fishery harbour. His tasks are to record species and quantities landed daily; wholesale prices of landed fish; number and type of fishing boats and landed quantities for each species. His records are of utmost importance to the Fisheries Department to enable them assess the status of the fishery and take precautionary management interventions.

6.3.5 Duties of a hygiene officer/health officer

With the increasing importance of fish as a primary source of food, concern about the possibility of tainted fish entering the food market chain has been rising. His duties should therefore ensure that:

· Fish or fish products are not contaminated during handling;
· Potable standard water is used for washing fish;
· The port area is clean and free from pests and vermin;
· Port workers maintain personal hygiene; and
· Ice and water supplies to fishing vessels are pathogen-free.

6.3.6 Fishery harbour rules and regulations

As mentioned earlier, there are several types of fishery harbours and landing places in the Bay of Bengal region. Privately owned and small coastal landing places have no specific rules. As for the main harbours in the region - whether they are managed by the local government or a quasi government institution - any harbour rules that exist are concerned mainly with the use of port facilities and port dues.

Needless to say, enforcement of pollution-specific rules is meaningless and extremely difficult, if the fishery harbour in question does not have the required infrastructure for waste collection and disposal, and if it does not provide the appropriate reception facilities for oily wastes, garbage and sewage for vessels using the harbour. Most fishery harbours in the region have been established by governments as a service to the fisheries sector. The revenue from port usage is barely sufficient to meet the maintenance needs of the harbour.

Under such circumstances, to ensure compliance with global, national and local laws to prevent marine pollution, the harbour master should:

· perform a waste audit and estimate the load from different waste streams;

· provide cost estimates to the authorities concerned, with assistance from harbour infrastructure specialists, for the basic upgrading of the facility to meet current hygiene and sanitary standards; and

· take measures to improve port security and deny access to unauthorized visitors and vendors.

When the harbour has been upgraded, the harbour master should prepare an amended set of port rules and regulations to include pollution abatement clauses that also cover third party supply of fuel, ice and canteen services; levy a pollution abatement surcharge on port users; include stiff penalty clauses for transgressing harbour rules; organize training programmes for staff to participate in quality programs; and conduct awareness campaigns for harbour users and the general public concerning the cleanliness ethic.

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