Canada´s Minister of Transport, Omar Alghabra, announced mandatory environmental measures for cruise ships effective immediately.

Initially introduced on a voluntary basis last year, due to the increased emphasis on environmental preservation, non-compliance with these rules will now lead to fines up to a maximum of $250,000.

The Canadian government is prohibiting the discharge of greywater (the drainage from sinks, laundry machines, bathtubs and showers, or dishwaters) and sewage (wastewater from bathroom and toilets) within three nautical miles from shore where geographically possible across Canada.

The mandatory measures also include strengthening the treatment of greywater together with sewage before it is discharged between three and twelve nautical miles from shore south of 60°N, using an approved treatment device in non-Arctic waters. This will complement existing regulations for Arctic waters under the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act.

According to the Minister of Transport, all cruise ships must report compliance with these measures in Canadian waters upon request.

“Canadians deserve clean waters and a clean environment. Even though cruise ships are important to our domestic tourism sector, representing more than $4 billion annual input into the Canadian economy and directly and indirectly generating approximately 30,000 middle-class jobs per year, we need to ensure they are doing so in a more sustainable manner moving forward,” notes the Canadian Ministry of Transport.

The Government of Canada had announced these measures last year for the cruise ship industry on a voluntary basis, but going forward, cruise ships will be subject to fines for non-compliance with these measures, up to the maximum permitted ($250,000) under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001.

These measures will better protect Canada’s oceans and the marine environment, and will support the work that is underway to conserve 25% of Canada’s oceans by 2025 and 30% by 2030.

“We are committed to continuing to work with industry to implement these measures, keeping our coasts clean for Canadians to enjoy,” the Minister of Transport, Omar Alghabra said.