Research on Cruiser Air Pollution: Situation in Dubrovnik is Alarming

Lauren Simmonds

Dubrovnik and its air are being poisoned by cruise ships and the harmful emissions they pump out into the atmosphere. One study reveals the horrifying truth of the reality of this extremely damaging branch of tourism, and just how much disease is being caused by these gigantic ships all over Europe.

As Morski writes on the 5th of July, 2019, the “Transportation and Enviroment” Association, along with the support of numerous similar environmental foundations, including the European Commission (EC), conducted extensive research on air pollution in European destinations in ports which accept cruise ships in 2017. The study also presents the results of research from Croatia’s top destination – Dubrovnik, and the situation appears to be very troubling.

The authors of the study made sure to showcase the the observed pollution levels in Dubrovnik in figures and tables, so as to make them as clear as possible. In the study, the release of harmful particles of sulfur and nitrogen oxide was compared with that produced by the number of registered vehicles present at cruising destinations.

According to the data, 27,173 vehicles were registered in Dubrovnik at that time. During 2017, in the port of Gruž, forty such massive vessels sailed in while taking round trips, spending a total of 2,791 hours moored, and during that time, 2,523 kilograms of contaminated particles were discharged into Dubrovnik’s air.

During that same time, the aforementioned 27,173 vehicles registered in the Dubrovnik area released 11,561 kilograms of exhaust gases into the air. Translated into basic percentages: 20.1 percent of the air pollution in Dubrovnik comes directly from cruise ships, according to a report from Dubrovniknet.

When considering the release of harmful compounds such as sulfur and nitrogen oxides, the data for Dubrovnik is as follows: During those 2,791 hours of cruise ships being moored in Gruž, cruise ships released a massive 140,259 kilograms of nitrogen oxide into the air, while 27,173 registered vehicles during that same year released 100,174 kilograms of the same harmful compound.

The situation isn’t ideal when it comes to sulfur oxide either. During their stay, cruise ships released 6,344 kilograms of sulfur oxide into Dubrovnik’s air, and passenger cars released 331 kilograms of the same compound during that time.

The main purpose of the study is to analyse air pollution caused by cruise ships in European seas. The results show that the carnivals owned by Carnival alone released an extremely worrying ten times more sulfur dioxide into the air in European waters alone. This substance is known to cause disease. The countries this was recorded in range from Spain, Italy and Greece, to France and Norway. Among the main cruise ports, Barcelona, ​​Palma de Mallorca and Venice are the most polluted.

The analysis also reveals that even in Sulfur Emmission Control Areas (SECAs), where airborne pollution is strictly controlled, these ships and their environmental damage are also present. In Denmark, for example, whose coasts are entirely within SECA, cruise ships released eighteen times more sulfur oxide in 2017 than 2.5 million registered vehicles per annum did.

This is a damning reflection on the effectiveness of the fuel quality directive on road traffic and the total failure to implement the same standards at sea, the study concludes.

You can read One Corporation to Pollute Them All in English language and familiarise yourself with the horrors of the cruise ship industry by clicking here.

Follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more. If it’s just Dubrovnik and the extreme south of Dalmatia you’re interested in, give Total Dubrovnik a follow and/or check out Dubrovnik in a Page.


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