Home Somerset rules Cruise ship industry should be regulated over health fears, academics say

Cruise ship industry should be regulated over health fears, academics say


There are calls for the cruise ship industry to be effectively regulated to minimize the serious risks it poses to human health.

Cruise ships are a potential source of human health risks for passengers, staff and land residents who live near ports or work in shipyards, the researchers said.

This includes the spread of infectious diseases, such as the Covid-19 outbreaks on some cruise ships.

Experts also found that noise and air pollution impacted health as well as harsh working environments for boat and shipyard personnel.

The international research team found that cruising was a major source of pollution and environmental degradation, affecting the air, water, soil, fragile habitats and wildlife.

They combined evidence from more than 200 research articles on human health and the environment in different oceans and seas around the world.

Professor Lora Fleming, University of Exeter, said: “Cruise tourism was booming before Covid-19, and our research shows that it has major impacts on the environment, health and the economy. human well-being.

“We need better monitoring to generate more robust data for a true picture of these impacts.

“Without new, standardized national and international rules that are strictly enforced, the cruise industry will likely continue to cause these serious health and environmental risks.”

The first author, Dr Josep Lloret, University of Girona, said: “Our article highlights that cruising is a great example of how the fate of our health and our environment is linked.

“So far, most studies have looked at these aspects in isolation.

“Our review is the most comprehensive yet to combine these areas of research and take a holistic view of how cruising harms our environment and our health.

“We now need global legislation to minimize the damage to both our oceans and our health.”

The review combined research papers on a range of factors that have environmental or health impacts, or both.

Research suggests that a large cruise ship can have a carbon footprint of more than 12,000 cars.

Passengers on an Antarctic cruise can produce as many CO2 emissions on an average seven-day trip as the average European in an entire year.

In the Mediterranean, CO2 emissions from cruise ships and ferries are estimated at up to 10% of all ship emissions.

The paper also includes research on solid waste as an example of cruise ship activity that affects both health and the environment.

While cruise ships make up only a small percentage of the global shipping industry, it is estimated that around 24% of all shipping waste originates from this sector.

Co-author Dr Hrvoje Caric, Croatia Tourism Institute, said: “We have known for a long time that cruise ships cause damage to the environment. However, it is extremely important to integrate the impact on human health in this image. “

– The article, Environmental and Human Health Impacts of Cruise Tourism: a Review, is published in the journal Marine Pollution Bulletin.