"From 1993-1998, cruise ships were involved in 87 confirmed cases of illegal discharges of oil, garbage and hazardous wastes and paid more than $30 million in fines" (Oceana, 2005). Sewage, grey water, hazardous waste, solid waste, and bilge water, are all included in cruise ship pollution. On average, a one-week trip on a cruise ship generates 210,000 gallons of sewage. Grey water, on average, accounts for 1,000,000 gallons of pollution dumped (Oceana, 2005).

Cruise ships are poorly regulated. Their sewage, grey water, and ballast water are all exempt from the Clean Water Act regulations. Currently, these ships only need to use Marine Sanitation Devices, for which regulations are decades old and fairly laid-back, and often may be exceeded by "treated" water being dumped by cruise ships.

Technology already exists to adequately treat cruise ship pollution. Although the cost of installing such technology would be about $2 million per ship, this would not greatly affect the cost of taking a cruise, and it would greatly decrease the impact that cruise ship pollution has on marine environments. What's needed now is a paradigm shift away from simply maximizing profits and towards sustainable operating a successful venture.

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