Ο ρόλος της σημαίας και οι επιπτώσεις της στο θαλάσσιο περιβάλλον
Κατούνη, Κυριακή Ν.
This essay is an effort to examine the importance of vessels' flag in relation to its influence of the marine environment. The first chapter refers to the flag state and its development throughout the years. It is described how the cost is the most important factor for a shipping company in deciding their vessels' flag of registry. The second chapter studies the marine environment and the regulations regarding safety at sea from the economic system's point of view. Economic and ecological systems' analysis should be parallel since there is a strong correlation between the two systems. The third chapter examines the factors that destroy the balance of the marine environment. Ships' operation and accidents are considered to be the major causes of marine pollution. Basic factor in accidents and marine disasters is the flag of convenience under which a ship is registered as shown by some examples listed in the fourth chapter. The last chapter deals with conditions that were established after major accidents which caused pollution of local ecosystems. A flag state should set conditions to be met by the owners and those in charges of vessels' operations. Since it's hard to clean up pollution once it has occurred, the most effective plan is prevention by compliance with government regulations and international conventions. The best way for everyone in the shipping sector is to start educating ourselves on what causes marine pollution and start making steps towards quality. Quality in the shipping industry combined with efficient and improved marine regulations could minimize sea pollution.