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Impact of Sea Transport on the Aquatic Environment Research Paper


Introduction

Study problem

Marine pollution is increasingly becoming a major concern as the world becomes a global village. Sea transport is one of the most used forms of transport in the modern society as goods move from one part of the world to another. However, the footprints left behind by major shipping companies are leaving a devastating impact on the maritime environment. According to Grech, Horeberry, and Koester (2008), a good example of the devastating impact that human activities have on the maritime environment is the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spillage of 2010.

This was a case where BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, leading to a massive oil spillage on the oil floor that lasted close to 90 days (Grammelis 2016). The incident had a massive impact on aquatic life and it also affected human lifestyles, especially of those who rely on deep-water fishing and tourism. The shipping companies also have a serious impact on the maritime environment in terms of the wastes often released into the water.

One of the three major pillars of sustainability is the need to protect the environment. For the shipping companies, there is a burden of responsibility to protect the maritime environment at all costs. The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has come up with policies that should be followed by shipping companies to ensure that their activities do not have a significant impact on the aquatic environment (International Maritime Organization 2011). Individual firms should also develop their policies, in line with the regulations of IMO, to enhance their ability to operate in an environmentally friendly manner. ADNATCO-NGSCO should be one of those firms taking a leading role in protecting the maritime environment.

Research questions

ADNATCO-NGSCO has experienced a long period of success due to the oil business on which the entire region of the Middle East relies. As Horck (2005) notes, the Middle East is known for its rich oil reserves, and countries such as Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Iran, and Kuwait rely on oil export to support their economy. The biggest worry is the impact oil exportation has on the maritime environment (Karim 2014). For ADNATCO-NGSCO, it is important to have ways of ensuring that its operations do not affect the sea environment. The study will look at ways in which the firm’s operations can be safe for the environment. The following are the research questions that will be used in collecting data.

  1. Are there adequate reception facilities in ships and shores?
  2. What are some of the factors that influence the transferability and cost-effectiveness of this project?
  3. Are there significant impacts of this project on the performance and reputation of ADNATCO & NGSCO?

Research objectives

According to Grammelis (2016), having clear research objectives helps in defining the goal that should be achieved by the end of a research project for it to be considered complete and successful. Based on the above research questions, the following are the objectives that the researcher seeks to achieve.

  1. To determine the availability of adequate reception facilities in ships and shores.
  2. To identify the factors that make this project so cost-effective and, hence, readily transferable.
  3. To establish the significance of this project on the performance and reputation of ADNATCO & NGSCO.

To achieve the above objectives, it is necessary to collect relevant data that will respond to the set research questions. The next section of this paper focuses on a detailed discussion of the methodology used to collect and analyze data in this paper.

Methodology

When conducting a research project, Progoulaki and Roe (2011) say that it is important to come up with a clear methodology that defines the approach of data collection and subsequent analysis. Safety of the maritime environment is an issue that has been of concern, and scholars have researched this topic. As such, the first point of reference when collecting data was the existing literature. The researcher reviewed existing literature to learn what other scholars have discovered about this topic.

The review of the literature was also critical to avoid cases of duplication of existing literature. According to Pyne and Koester (2005), every research is meant to add new information to the existing knowledge. As such, it is necessary to conduct a literature review that shall provide initial knowledge to be used as the background to the study. A detailed review of the existing literature was conducted in Task 2.

The second source of data used in this research project was a group of respondents who were sampled to help gather information about ADNATCO & NGSCO and what it is doing to ensure that its operations in the high seas do not pollute the maritime environment. It was noted that most of the existing literature does not primarily focus on the activities of ADNATCO & NGSCO. Based on the research objectives, it meant that there was a gap in the existing bodies of knowledge. The only way of addressing this knowledge gap was to collect data from the sampled respondents.

Research variables

At this stage, it is important to look at the research variables and how they are related. The variables are classified into dependent and independent variables.

Dependent variable

The dependent variable is the one that is in focus in the study. The variable is maritime environment pollution and what can be done to ensure that it is stopped, despite the increased maritime activities of ADNATCO & NGSCO.

Independent variable

The independent variables are those believed to have a direct or indirect impact on the dependent variables. The following are the independent variables.

  1. Adequate reception facilities in ships and shores meant for waste disposal.
  2. Level of awareness about waste management among the employees of ADNATCO & NGSCO.
  3. Organizational, national, and international policies regarding the prevention of marine pollution.

Participants

As mentioned above, it was necessary to collect primary data from a sample of respondents. The participants were selected through stratified sampling. This was necessary because the researcher wanted to interview respondents who hold various positions within the firm. There were two strata, those in the managerial positions in group A and those who are in non-managerial positions in group B. In each stratum, simple random sampling was used to identify participants for this research project. A total of five employees of ADNATCO & NGSCO in managerial positions were identified. All of them had work experience at this firm for over 5 years at the time they were sampled for the study.

The researcher also sampled 5 employees who are in non-managerial positions. The condition that had to be met by this second category of participants was that they must have been on the trips that these ships make for at least six months. This was necessary because they should have proper knowledge about the approaches that this company uses in waste disposal when the ship is on high seas and when it docks.

According to Sampson and Zhao (2003), it is important to maintain ethics when conducting a research project. One way of doing so is full to prepare the respondents well before the actual day of the study (Cadène & Dumortier 2013). All the sampled participants were adequately informed about this study before the actual date of data collection. They were contacted by phone and informed about the study and the need for them to help in the collection of primary data.

This was necessary to ensure that they were adequately prepared for the interview. The researcher also assured the respondents that their identity shall be protected to ensure that they are not subjected to any form of criticism by others whose opinions are different. Instead of using their actual names, the respondents were assigned pseudonyms to help protect their identity. The researcher also sought approval of the management of this firm to allow its employees to take part in the study. The request was made formally using a letter that was physically delivered to the management of the institution before sampling the respondents.

The instrument of primary data collection and analysis

After clearly identifying and preparing participants for this study, the researcher used a questionnaire to conduct the interview. A face-to-face interview was considered appropriate because of the small population of the respondents. The study only had 10 respondents who could easily be reached at the company’s headquarters. According to Tripathy and Tripathy (2015), one of the biggest advantages of a face-to-face interview is that it creates trust between the researcher and the respondents.

Any questions that the respondents may have can adequately be addressed during the meeting before the interview can start. In case the response given by the respondent is unclear, the researcher can request the respondent to clarify the issue. Factors such as facial expression and body language can also help the researcher to understand more than what the respondents are saying verbally (Smith 2015).

These are some of the benefits of using face-to-face interviews that made it relevant for this research project. The study used both open-ended and closed-ended questions. Closed-ended questions were necessary for quantitative analysis using mathematical methods. Open-ended questions were necessary for qualitative analysis to help elaborate events witnessed by the respondents for waste management of this shipping company.

Analysis of primary data was conducted both quantitatively and qualitatively. Analysis of the data collected using closed-ended questions was conducted using mathematical methods. As Theotokas and Progoulaki (2007) say, the output of qualitative data analysis such as graphs and charts makes the results easy to comprehend. Responses obtained through open-ended questions were important because they described events needed to make a clear analysis of the issue under investigation.

Results

The researcher analyzed the primary data that was collected from the respondents. It was necessary to find answers to the questions set in the research proposal. In this section, the researcher will outline the responses that were obtained from participants based on the research questions.

  • Are there adequate reception facilities in ships and shores?

The respondents were asked about the adequacy of the reception facilities in ships and shores to help in the management of wastes and to reduce pollution of the marine environment when the ships are moving from one place to another. The figure below shows the response that was obtained from them.

Adequacy of reception facilities at the ship and shores.
Figure 1: adequacy of reception facilities at the ship and shores.

As shown in the figure above, out of the 10 respondents, 7 noted that there are adequate reception facilities at the ship and shores. Only three had a contrary opinion, stating that the current facilities are not enough and more still needs to be done. It was also noted that most of the managers, 4 out of 5, asserted that the current facilities are adequate, compared to 3 out of 5 of those in non-managerial positions.

  • What are some of the factors that influence the transferability and cost-effectiveness of this project?

The researcher explained the essence of this project to the participants and asked them to respond to the question above in case the project was to be implemented at this company. They were asked to name factors that may influence the transferability and cost-effectiveness of this project. The following was the response that was obtained from the respondents.

    Transferability and cost-effectiveness of the project.

Figure 2: Transferability and cost-effectiveness of the project.

As shown in the above figure, several factors may affect the transferability and cost-effectiveness of the project. Most of the respondents stated that the willingness of the top management and availability of resources are the most fundamental factors in determining the transferability of this project. Without the support of the top management and the needed resources, it may not be possible to implement it.

Other important factors that must be considered include time proposed for implementation and the ability of the firm to embrace changes. The proposed activities for the project may also determine the transferability and cost-effectiveness of the project. They also noted that this firm should embrace emerging technologies as it tries to eliminate various forms of pollution when the ships are in the high seas.

  • Are there significant impacts of this project on the performance and reputation of ADNATCO & NGSCO?

This project primarily focused on the activities of ADNATCO & NGSCO to determine what it is currently doing to promote environmentally friendly activities while operating on the high seas. The current activities have been confirmed to be in line with the standards set in MARPOL (Marine Pollution) Annex 5 by the IMO. However, more can still be done at the organizational level to minimize marine pollution further (Davidson 2009). When the question above was posed to the respondents, their responses were analyzed mathematically and the figure below shows the outcome.

Impact of the project on the performance and reputation of ADNATCO & NGSCO.
Figure 3: Impact of the project on the performance and reputation of ADNATCO & NGSCO.

There was overwhelming support for this project among the participants. Of the 10 people who were interviewed, 9 stated that this project has a significant impact on the performance and reputation of this company. One of the respondents explained that ADNATCO & NGSCO is ahead of so many other shipping companies in terms of waste management. The success has been achieved through research and the willingness of the top management to support new innovative ways of improving performance. As such, this new study may come up with new practices that are not currently being implemented at this firm. If they are put into consideration, it may have a positive influence on the performance of the company.

Discussion

The analysis conducted above clearly shows that ADNATCO & NGSCO is committed to fighting pollution and protecting the marine environment in its operations. One of the main products transported by this company from the Middle East to the remainder of the world is crude oil (Abu-Zinada 2008). This product poses a serious threat to aquatic life in cases of spillage. As such, it is often critical to ensure that any form of leakage of the product or wastes from the product is not allowed into the sea. Data analyzed in the section above has helped in determining what this firm is doing and what it can do further to eliminate pollution of the marine environment.

As shown in the analysis above, the majority of the respondents noted that there are adequate reception facilities in ships and shores meant for waste disposal. This was an expected outcome because some of the literature hinted to the fact that the management of this company has invested heavily in waste management in its ships. The firm came up with an initiative to convert one of the bulk carrier’s tanks to a reception tank for the cargo, holding wash water with independent transfer pumps, pipelines, and vales. This was an initiative meant to ensure that wastewater is not released into the sea because of the consequences it may have on aquatic life.

The respondents also identified the factors that make this project so cost-effective and, hence, readily transferable. As shown in the responses in the section above, the willingness of the management to embrace the new project and availability of resources to support it are the most important factors when planning to implement such a new project. They also noted that this project has a significant impact on the performance and reputation of ADNATCO & NGSCO. This study will have implications for the operations of this firm and future studies.

Implications for operations

It is clear from the analysis of the primary data that this firm should embrace emerging technologies to help it come up with better ways of managing wastes. The firm should also remain flexible enough to embrace changes that may emerge in maritime waste management. For the management, it is advisable to be receptive to innovative ways of addressing challenges that it may face in its operations (Hui 2010). The firm should be proactive in its operations instead of being reactive.

The implication for future research

This study will be important for future scholars who will be interested in researching marine pollution and how individual firms can design their operations to minimize it. Scholars will be interested in investigating what ADNATCO & NGSCO is doing to minimize the impact of its operations on the marine environment.

Events that went well in the research

When planning for this study, the researcher expected some challenges. However, several events favored the project, leading to its success. The researcher was able to identify and convince participants to take part in this project. The management of this company also gave the approval needed to interview the respondents. The books and journal articles needed for the study were available in the library.

Recommendations

The above demonstrates the need for ADNATCO & NGSCO to protect the environment in its operations. The management should consider the following recommendations.

  • The management should invest in modern reception facilities in ships and on shores.
  • The firm should remain dynamic and ready to embrace change in waste management.
  • The firm should come up with internal waste management policies that are in line with the policies set by IMO.

List of References

Abu-Zinada, A 2008, Protecting the Gulf’s marine ecosystems from pollution, Birkhauser, Basel.

Cadène, P & Dumortier, B 2013, Atlas of the Gulf States, Brill, Leiden.

Davidson, C 2009, Abu Dhabi: Oil and beyond, Hurst, London.

Grammelis, P 2016, Energy, Transportation and Global Warming, Wiley & Sons, Hoboken.

Grech, M, Horeberry, T & Koester, T 2008, Human factors in the maritime domain, CRC Press, Boca Raton.

Horck, J 2005, Getting the best from multi-cultural manning. Web.

Hui, W 2010, Civil liability for marine oil pollution damage: A comparative and economic study of the international, US and the Chinese compensation regime, Erasmus Universiteit, Rotterdam.

International Maritime Organization 2011, Manual on oil pollution Section 1 – Prevention, International Maritime Organization, London.

Karim, M 2014, Prevention of pollution of the marine environment from vessels: The potential and limits of the International Maritime Organisation, Cengage, New York.

Progoulaki, M & Roe, M 2011, ‘Dealing with multicultural human resources in a socially responsible manner: a focus on the maritime industry’, WMU Journal of Maritime Affairs, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 7-23.

Pyne, R & Koester, T 2005, ‘Methods and means for analysis of crew communication in the maritime domain’, The Archives of Transport, vol. 17, no. 3-4, pp. 193-208.

Sampson, H & Zhao, M 2003, ‘Multilingual crews: communication and the operation of ships’, World Englishes, vol. 22, no. 1, pp. 31-43.

Smith, J 2015, Middle East countries mineral industry handbook: Strategic information and regulations, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken.

Theotokas, I & Progoulaki, M 2007, ‘Cultural diversity, manning strategies and management practices in Greek shipping’, Maritime Policy and Management, vol. 34, no. 2, pp. 383-403.

Tripathy, P & Tripathy, K 2015, Fundamentals of research: dissective view, Anchor Academic Publishing, Berlin.

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IvyPanda. (2020, October 10). Impact of Sea Transport on the Aquatic Environment. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/impact-of-sea-transport-on-the-aquatic-environment/

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"Impact of Sea Transport on the Aquatic Environment." IvyPanda, 10 Oct. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/impact-of-sea-transport-on-the-aquatic-environment/.

1. IvyPanda. "Impact of Sea Transport on the Aquatic Environment." October 10, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/impact-of-sea-transport-on-the-aquatic-environment/.


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IvyPanda. "Impact of Sea Transport on the Aquatic Environment." October 10, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/impact-of-sea-transport-on-the-aquatic-environment/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Impact of Sea Transport on the Aquatic Environment." October 10, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/impact-of-sea-transport-on-the-aquatic-environment/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Impact of Sea Transport on the Aquatic Environment'. 10 October.

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