Case studies

Ocean health

03 April 2019
Ocean Health

The issue

Ocean health is pivotal to the health of nature and people. Higher sea temperatures and the proliferation of plastic waste indicate that ocean health is under threat. We are obligated to act, as emissions from our activities contribute to acidification and rising temperatures, and as a citizen of the oceans to contribute to finding solutions.

In addition, ships carry ballast water to provide stability and aid steering. Discharging ballast water originating from one marine environment into another can introduce alien species into a marine ecosystem, potentially impacting its ecological balance. The importance of a robust enforcement system for the regulation of ballast water cannot be overestimated. Without it, the playing field will be highly uneven and the motivation for investing in compliance will be decreased.

What we do

We strive to comply with the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention through clear standard operating procedures for ballast water, and monitor and report on all non-compliances. All relevant vessels delivered to A.P. Moller - Maersk from 2012 and beyond has been equipped with ballast water treatment systems.

We seek to support ocean science research through data collection and partnerships. We are currently involved with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), under the U.S. Department of Commerce, as part of our broader collaboration with the World Ocean Council’s ‘Smart Oceans – SMART Industries’ initiative to develop a programme to improve data collection from selected areas. We are also part of the UN Global Compact Sustainable Ocean Business Action Platform, a three-year project to develop and share methods and models for corporate action on ocean protection.

In the area of plastic litter, we have established collaboration with the Ocean Cleanup project, a non-profit organisation that has developed a 600 m-long floating buoy system with a screen to collect plastic debris for recycling. Collecting and removing plastic already in the oceans will, however, not solve the real problem which is mainly caused by insufficient waste management on land, rivers and sea, and we know that making the oceans healthy will require a multi-layer solution with a multitude of innovation and change.

Ocean Cleanup Project

World Ocean Council

UNGC Sustainable Ocean Business Action Platform

Read about our 2018 progress on ocean health