Thousands of ships dump oil into the world’s oceans

Dhe discharge of oil and oily water into the sea has been prohibited for decades. However, it is probably still practiced today. This is confirmed by a large-scale investigation by Deutsche Welle (DW) with the investigative network Lighthouse Reports.

Accordingly, thousands of cargo and container ships “systematically circumvented this ban to save time and money – with devastating consequences for the environment”. According to the report, the oil is drained “under cover of darkness,” DW quotes a young marine engineer who has witnessed the crime several times. The name of the German seaman and that of his tanker are not mentioned to protect the man.

The report suggests that as the movement of goods by sea increases – 90 percent of all goods are shipped – the problem is also growing. More than 55,000 cargo and container ships are in use worldwide, without their work “half of humanity would starve and the other half would freeze to death”.

Environmental organization SkyTruth estimates the amount of oily water discharged into the oceans in this way could be more than 200,000 cubic meters annually, the report said, citing satellite imagery. “That’s about five times more than the 1989 oil spill when the Exxon Valdez ran aground in Alaska’s Prince William Sound.”