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International Maritime Organisation 2019

END-OF-LIFE MANAGEMENT OF FIBRE REINFORCED PLASTIC VESSELS: ALTERNATIVES TO AT SEA DISPOSAL


In 2016, the London Convention and London Protocol (LC/LP) governing bodies, having reviewed
the LC/LP Scientific Groups' discussion on the widespread nature of the problem of disposing of fibreglass vessels, particularly those that had been abandoned, instructed the Groups to propose
recommendations regarding whether to develop advice on the disposal of fibreglass vessels.

In 2017, the governing bodies, noted the Scientific Groups' discussion on the disposal of fibreglass vessels, and that the issue seemed to be of direct relevance and concern not only to Small Island

Developing States (SIDS), but also in other countries with large numbers of recreational craft.

They subsequently instructed the LC/LP Secretariat to engage a consultant to collate information on the scale of the problem and to identify key knowledge gaps relating to impacts of fibre-reinforced plastic vessels dumped or placed in the marine environment.

IMO is one of the partners in the UN Environment-led Global Partnership for Marine Litter
(GPML), and within the framework of this partnership, the LC/LP Secretariat was able to allocate
GPML funding to commission a study on the end of life management of fibre-reinforced plastic (e.g. fibreglass) vessels, and on alternatives to disposal at sea. In January 2018, a consultant was contracted to carry out this study.

A draft report, prepared by the consultant was reviewed by the Scientific Groups in May 2018.

The main objective of the review was to provide an overview of the current state of knowledge
regarding the end-of-life management of fibre-reinforced plastic (e.g. fibreglass) vessels, and on alternatives to disposal at sea and therefore provide the LC/LP governing bodies with a better understanding of the scale of the issue, the options for disposal and recycling, and the potential impacts of fibreglass in the marine environment enabling them to determine if any further guidance needed to be developed.

It should be noted that the purpose of the report is to inform discussions on the end of life
management of fibre-reinforced plastic (e.g. fibreglass) vessels within the LC/LP. It does not claim
to be a complete review of all aspects related to this issue, but will hopefully raise awareness
and stimulate further discussions on this issue, both in relation to the LC/LP and within the wider
global community.

Download the PDF (48 pages, 7.6MB)

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Monday, 22 April 2024

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