We invited the former Minister of Environment, Ola Elvestuen and member of parliament Solveig Schytz to discuss the efforts outlined in the Greater Plan for the Oslofjord. We applaud the measures that are outlined in the plan, but surprised and alarmed to see that emissions from harbors and marinas are not even part of the 63 measures.
In Dagbladet’s debate article Our dear Oslofjord is sick, we learn that there is no time to wait, measures must be implemented immediately. Municipalities surrounding the Oslofjord have come together to work on implementing measures that aim to reduce emissions from various industries and obtain a healthier eco-system below the waterline.
With the highest density of boats world wide combined with the fjord’s fragile eco system, it is imperative that emissions from harbors and marinas must be addressed.
This must be part of the plan
For many years, it has been common knowledge that emissions from annual maintenance on recreational boats is a large threat to the environment, both on land and to the sea. In 2011, The Norwegian Climate and Pollution Agency (Klif) investigated 13 marinas in the country. Large toxic deposits were detected in all, with environmental toxins such as copper, zinc and PCBs. The pollution is a direct result from cleaning and maintenance of boats, and several marinas are so polluted by environmental toxins that it is harmful to health to stay there. Source: https://www.nrk.no/sorlandet/giftige-smabathavner-1.7570108.
In 2011, only 13 marinas had been investigated, but the Director of the Norwegian Climate and Pollution Agency, Ellen Hambro said in the NRK1 review, that there is no doubt about the toxicity status.
– There is probably unfortunately reason to believe that there will be approximately similar results in other marinas as well, says Hambro, also in 2011.
Ten years has passed, and now we know more. Several reports are published confirming the toxicity in harbors and marinas due to traditional boat maintenance. Sweden has implemented strict regulations banning antifouling with high levels of biocides, subsidizing measures aimed to reduce emissions, as does the forward leaning Port of San Diego and many others.
As the self proclaimed front figure for the marine environment; Norway – isn’t it time to act?