What Is Ocean Dumping?

The act of ocean dumping is when things such as vessels, fish waste, human waste and dredged materials are disposed of into the world's oceans. Today, ocean dumping is largely banned because of the risk it poses to the marine environment and because it can ultimately endanger human health and contribute to the destruction of other ecological systems.

In the United States, ocean dumping is heavily regulated to reduce the risk of dangerous materials ending up in the ocean, such as, medical waste, radioactive waste, industrial waste and sewage sludge. The dumping of hazardous materials has been shown to contaminate beaches with sewage-derived organisms while also resulting in fish and shellfish beds being contaminated with harmful parasites and toxic metals.