By: JOSE LUIS FAYOS
GLOBAL MANAGEMENT Consultoría Náutica
Almost all marinas are home to boats that have been abandoned. This situation, beyond the detrimental financial consequences for the marina, creates a negative image that carries over to the marine recreational sector as a whole. Equally, if not more important is the damaging environmental impact incurred by these vessels.How to tackle the problem…
If in addition to the above, we consider that these boats are taking up precious space in marinas that could be used by people who really need a berth; we find a situation that reduces the capacity for sector growth and competition, an issue that must be resolved for the benefit of users and marina operators.To begin to tackling this problem, we should start by considering the following:
1- The treatment of waste materials and procedures for scrapping boats.
2- Procedure regulation for enabling scrapping or immobilisation of a vessel where the owner is untraceable.
The fundamental problem for the treatment of waste is how to dispose of polyester-reinforced fibreglass used in the boats, because its nature and physiochemical characteristics limit profitable options for recycling and reuse. Some examples have employed crushing and pulverising the fibre glass to recycle it as a component for road-making material, as an alternative fuel in kilns to produce cement or as an additive in the manufacture of cellular glass.
All waste issues involve a consideration of the hazardous elements comprised therein; in this case oil, filters, batteries, fuel residues, recipients contaminated with hazardous products and other substances, all requiring special treatment due to their danger to the environment.
Scrapping procedures then have to be able to guarantee minimal environmental impact, covering energy use, noise pollution and waste generated by the destruction systems, even transport logistics of vessels to the recycling centre.
From the point of view of setting up systems to enable a marina to immobilise vessels where the owner has abandoned the boat and cannot be reached, the marine sector could start by drawing on the experience and regulation of abandoned vehicles on public roads and in garages.
European maritime authorities and member states should begin to address this issue and try to establish some adequate regulations.
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For advice on issues such as this, Jose Luis can be contacted on: firstname.lastname@example.org