These ships carry up to 3,000 passengers who spend enormous amounts of money at tourist locations around the world. It is estimated that millions of dollars are generated and placed into the tourism markets annually. This is great news for local communities that depend on the cruise ship industry’ in order to survive, however it is bad news when it comes to the environment.
Cruise ships create a massive amount of waste which ends up polluting our water ways and sending vast levels of pollutants into the air as well. These large ships typically produce around 170,000 gallons of waste water, 21 ,OHO gallons of sewage, 6,400 gallons of bilge water, and 1 ton of solid waste per day ((Brooks ; Dunn, 2012). Unfortunately, these waste products are dumped into our oceans, seas, rivers, and lakes. There are numerous laws, regulations, and guidelines to prevent such things from happening but most of the cruise ship operations have found a way to work around them.
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They understand that states such as Alaska and Washington prohibit dumping of waste materials in their waters. The cruise ship corporations have taken advantage of the relaxed laws of places like British Columbia (B. C. ) which for the most part allows them to release their waste products into their water areas. This presents a dilemma for the cruise ship industry because they ultimately have to decide between making a profit and being environmentally sound. Corporations such as the cruise ship industry have an ethical responsibility to et all environmental regulations and laws regardless of where they are sailing.
Corporations have an obligation to the general public and that includes making sure they are meeting standards set forth by the government. Environmental groups have a major influence on the general public and can create enough pressure where the reputation of a company is tarnished and sales start to decrease. It would be to a corporation’s advantage to show the general public that it is going above and beyond meeting environmental needs regardless of the rules in a particular country, Tate, etc. When sailing in international waters cruise ships should go by the strictest of all guidelines.
Ethically, a corporation should set the standard for all others to follow. They can’t allow relaxed rules to be an excuse for creating environmental damage. The general public would feel betrayed to learn that a company built on having good, “clean”, vacation fun is in fact dirtying up the water ways. Coos of such corporations should exercise due care and professional skepticism. They should ask how my actions will affect the water ways in the future. In addition, executives should question the rules of other countries and do everything in their power not to take advantage of weak laws. Rot cities depend on tourism to generate revenue within their communities. It is of the most importance to balance the needs of tourism against the needs of maintaining an environmentally safe society. Compromise is essential in the effort to reduce as much waste going into our waters as possible. These tourist destinations should always work with the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency to develop reasonable plans that can e accomplished slowly in order to prevent pollution now and in the future.
It is understood that cruise ships will always have waste products to get rid of so decisions should be based on what is good for the environment not solely on tourism. The responsibility to maintain a clean and healthy environment is up to everyone. Corporations have a major responsibility as well because they can influence the thoughts, ideas, and beliefs of the average citizen. If a major corporation promotes the idea of improving air and water quality then it can influence the actions of other corporations.
The cruise ship industry is in the position to set the standards for all to follow. They have the ability to show others that no matter the location or circumstances that a standard set of rules should always be followed. They should not let profit get in the way of doing the right thing. In the long run doing what is expected is more important than profit. The general public would accept a rise in ticket prices for a cruise if they were informed that it is because of the environmental rules they are trying to follow.
Profit is the main goal of any organization, but it should not come at the expense of people’s health and well being. If the proper research is conducted and coordination between countries is established then it should be no reason why environmental needs should not be met. The general public is the first priority of corporations and every effort Of compromise should be attempted.