Proposal Report Final Report

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					SOLOMON ISLANDS

1. 1.1

PRELIMINARY Introduction

The Solomon Islands is an archipelagic island chain extending between 5 º to 12 º South latitude and 155 º to 170 º East longitude. The eastern reaches of Papua New Guinea are extremely close to the Solomons, with other near neighbours being New Caledonia and Vanuatu to the south and south east respectively, and Australia to the south west. Timber is a major export, as are phosphate, gold, and tuna. Economic and social development, as well as trade and commerce, have stalled in recent years due to the civil unrest surrounding the 2000 coup. Although some stability has returned to the nation, economic activity is yet to return to pre-2000 levels.

1.2

Geography

The nation comprises almost 1,000 islands, including over 100 large ones, and has the second biggest land mass of the Pacific island states. The capital, Honiara, is located on the island of Guadalcanal. The other main islands are Malaita, Choiseul, New Georgia, Santa Isabel, and San Cristobal. Smaller islands are often coral atolls or raised coral platforms.

1.2.1

Legislative Issues

1.2.2

Status of IMO Conventions

The Solomon Islands is a member of the IMO but the nation has not yet acceded to any of the marine pollution prevention treaties relevant to this project except for the London Convention 1972. The Solomons is at present awaiting confirmation on its Observer status to the Tokyo MOU on Port State Controls, although it is understood that this is mainly within the context of ship safety and survival.

1.2.3

Local Legislative Issues

The Environment Act 1998 addresses environmental protection, pollution prevention and waste management. Waste disposal is also addressed by the Public Health Act 1980 and subordinate regulations. There is only minimal attention to marine pollution prevention requirements in Solomon Islands legislation, although there are several items of legislation which address ports and shipping and that could be relevant if suitably amended. These laws, and the issues they focus upon are:
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CAP 34 CAP 158 CAP 159 CAP 160 CAP 161 CAP 163

Quarantine Carriage of Goods By Sea Light Dues and Harbours Merchant Shipping Fees Ports Shipping

Of these laws with a maritime focus, only one is known to address marine pollution issues; this is CAP 161 Ports. Section 49 of CAP 161 prohibits the discharge of a range of polluting materials into port waters or onto port land without prior permission. The legislation also makes provision for penalties. These regulations only apply in designated port areas. It is also understood that an Ordinance issued in the early 1990s sought to limit the discharge of waste from inter-island ferries, although this has been ineffective.

2.

REPORT: Shipping and Ports in the Solomon Islands

The Solomon’s three principal ports are Honiara, Noro and Yandina, with Honiara the nation’s main port of entry. Designated ports in the Solomon Islands are administered by the Solomon Islands Ports Authority (SIPA). Dozens of other small ports and landings are spread throughout the country, situated as necessary to permit coastal trading to provide commodities and passenger services for towns and settlements, and also support extensive subsistence fishing activity. These ports are not within the jurisdiction of SIPA. Additionally, temporary small ports are established at dispersed, isolated locations in order to transfer timber to ships. The Solomon Islands supports a substantial domestic trading and inter-island passenger fleet. This fleet is very active and its operations widely dispersed, given the size of the population, the geographical spread of the nation and the number of inhabited islands. Coastal traders are mainly old and small vessels, of a few hundred tons at most; few, if any, may be expected to be fitted with IMO approved marine pollution prevention equipment. Five large passenger ferries service the Solomon Islands. These are generally old vessels, capable of carrying many hundreds of passengers. Journeys from Honiara to outer islands are often overnight. The Solomons has regular shipping links, predominantly containerised cargo, with Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan and Europe, as well as neighbouring Pacific island states. Oil is delivered to the Solomons principally from either New Guinea or Australia, but can be sourced directly from Singapore on occasions. LPG carriers call on Honiara on routes originating in Australia. The Solomons did feature on may cruise itineraries, although the number of cruise ship visits has declined considerably over recent years, and they have effectively ceased (although it is anticipated that these may recommence as the internal situation continues to stabilise).
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Honiara is home to the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA). The Solomons permits access to its waters by a substantial number of FFVs, supported by ‘motherships’, although the scale of activity has declined due to the civil unrest. The ‘motherships’ often remained at anchor for extended periods in coastal waters, undertaking a degree of processing of the catch. Prior to the civil unrest, Russian factory ships displacing in the order of 20,000 tons would operate periodically in the Solomons.

2.1

Port Report: Honiara

Honiara is the main trading port for the Solomon Islands and also acts as the centre of the nation’s extensive coastal and inter-island shipping activities. The port has a 120 m deepwater berth with a depth alongside of around 9 m, used mainly for container and ro-ro traffic and log ships (the main wharf has also been used for the export of copra in quasi-bulk quantities and coconut oil, although both of these trades have been discontinued). Oil products are transferred to shore through a submarine pipeline from a mooring near the main wharf, with another mooring and submarine pipeline provided for bulk transfer of LPG. Two Pacific patrol boats are based in Honiara at a dedicated base. To support domestic traders and inter-island passenger services, the port has another nine wharves, including one which is 85 m with a depth alongside of 3.4 m. There is also a refuelling wharf and two concrete ramps for landing barges. A yacht club and the patrol boat base are also within the port precinct, and many small subsistence fishing boats operate off beaches within the port. A considerable number of anchorages are available immediately off from the port’s wharves. These anchorages are mainly used by domestic trading vessels and FFVs. International merchant traffic into Honiara is mainly associated with deliveries of refined oil products, LPG and containerised goods. Exports are limited and mainly confined to break-bulk and containerised wood products. Container ships usually remain in port in the order of one day, but occasionally up to two days. Most container traffic is inbound, with Honiara recording the arrival of 8,500 TEUs in 1993 with 10% annual growth (although this level of trade has declined recently). Only about 10% of containers leaving the Solomons are loaded. About 70 cargo ships (60 container and 10 ro-ro) visit Honiara annually, as well as about 30 product tankers and 20 LPG carriers. Pre2000, about 180 cargo ships, 40 tankers and eight cruise liners called into Honiara in an average year. Two to three frigate size warships, or larger, visit in a typical year, usually for three to four days at a time. These warships are additional to about six visits annually by foreign patrol boats. Honiara also supports an active inter-island trading fleet. Over 70 ships, ranging in size from less than 50 tonnes to around 300 tonnes operate from the port. These vessels typically have crews of up to 20, who live onboard, and engage in mixed-cargo and passenger ferry services. Typical loads include drummed oil and other commodities delivered to outlying islands. Time alongside in Honiara is
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typically one to two days, but can extend for many days, and be longer during maintenance and repair activities. Five large inter-island passenger and mixed passenger/freight ferries are based in Honiara. These vessels may carry up to 500 passengers on overnight journeys between islands, with trips to outer settlements taking up to three days. Up to 350 FFVs per year (long-liners and purse-seiners, plus ‘motherships’) would visit Honiara before the civil unrest, although this traffic has diminshed severely. Honiara also supports some 15 large local commercial fishing boats, and many dozen small vessels engaged in subsistence fishing. Itinerant yachts are frequent visitors, with over 70 calling into Honiara each year. A number of day charter vessels, engaged in diving, fishing and cruise services, also operate from Honiara. There are no planned increases to the capacity of the port in the short to medium-term.

2.1.1

Demand for Ship Waste Reception Facilities

The demand for port waste reception facilities in Honiara should be quite significant with respect to garbage and oily wastes, observing the activities of the domestic trading fleet. SIPA provides bins for the collection of garbage from domestic shipping, although the field survey revealed that the actual amount of garbage collected from vessels visiting Honiara was not commensurate with the level of activity at the port; no waste oil is reported as being landed ashore through Honiara for disposal. International shipping does not usually require to discharge waste while in Honiara, although it can be landed with prior notification to relevant authorities, such as Quarantine. No waste management plan exists for the port of Honiara. Specific fees for quarantine inspection and waste collection and disposal are charged to visiting international vessels requesting garbage collection. All visiting vessels are charged conventional port, wharf and pilotage fees.

2.1.1.1 Oily Wastes No formal waste oil recovery scheme is in operation for Honiara. Anecdotal evidence indicates that any available waste oil is quickly seized by local people for uses such as roadside dust suppression, or lubrication of chainsaws. No procedures are in place for the collection of oily bilge water. Considering that the domestic trading vessels centred upon Honiara are unlikely to be fitted with oily water separators, the provision of such a service should be seen as a priority. The refuelling wharf at Honiara may be a suitable location to establish a bilge-pumping station, with attached static oily water separator. Pumping of bilges could be undertaken in conjunction with refuelling, so as to avoid undue delay to ship’s programmes.

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2.1.1.2 Garbage SIPA provides used 205 L bins on wharves for the collection of garbage from domestic shipping; collection of garbage from overseas ships is arranged through shipping agents. All garbage landed by international ships is considered to present a quarantine risk and is accordingly treated as quarantine waste. Anecdotal evidence and first-hand observations indicate that no waste receptacles of any kind are provided on the large ferries which operate from Honiara. Most garbage generated by passengers during ferry voyages is either food waste or associated packaging, and all garbage is thrown overboard. It is estimated that about half of this waste is organic material, such as fruit skins and coconut husks, while most of the rest is environmentally persistent materials such as cans, glass, plastics and soiled disposable nappies. In 1999, SIPA collected 390 t of garbage from domestic vessels in Honiara; this is significantly less than that which might be expected. The relatively low collection rate supports the conjecture that much garbage is dumped at sea.

2.1.1.3 Quarantine Wastes As noted, all solid garbage and putrescible waste landed in the Solomons from overseas ships is treated as quarantine waste. Waste is transferred to trucks onshore for delivery direct to the Quarantine waste facility (where the waste is understood to be either incinerated or autoclaved). Actual handling and treatment of quarantine waste was not observed, so no judgement can be made at to the adequacy of these procedures. In the case of small vessels arriving from overseas, such as yachts, it is understood that Quarantine inspectors collect all garbage to be landed plus any vegetable or animal matter likely to act as a vector for unwanted pests or pathogens.

2.1.1.4 Special, Hazardous or Noxious Wastes No arrangements were in evidence for the collection of noxious or hazardous wastes from any of the wharf areas. The lack of evidence of the collection and disposal of such wastes suggests that they are dumped at sea or ashore, or else disposed ashore through the general waste stream.

2.1.1.5 Sewage Honiara appears to be a fairly well flushed port. Water quality within the port area is not considered as poor, although it has been noted to have deteriorated over the past few decades. This is considered to be mainly due to effluent discharged from a sewage outfall within the port area. Shore ablution and laundry facilities are provided in the yacht club for the use of visiting boats. No shore ablutions are provided for the crews of fishing or trading vessels.
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Normal controls on the discharge of sewage from ships in port waters should be effective in preventing any deterioration in water quality (although it should be considered that inter-island traders probably do discharge sewage into the harbour, noting the lack of shore ablutions; the relatively small number of persons living onboard, however, renders these inputs inconsequential in environmental terms). Noting the natural attributes of the harbour and current conditions, no additional action is deemed necessary for the maintenance of harbour water quality.

2.2

Port Report: Gizo

Gizo is the administrative centre and port of entry for the Western Province. The port has two main wharves (both in a state of disrepair), sufficient only for small trading vessels and the inter-island ferries. There are also at least five other small, private wharves which are used to service inter-island traders, plus a separate wharf at the Mobil depot. Oil is delivered both in drums and semi-bulk by small product tankers from Lae, PNG. Log ships anchor in Gizo Harbour to take on logs about four times per year. There are many other small boat landings along the Gizo waterfront. Gizo is a popular destination for itinerant yachts, and hosts an annual open-ocean race from Brisbane (normally involving between five and ten yachts). Yachting activity is year–round. No facilities are provided for yachts, with crews living onboard the yachts while at anchor. It is estimated that about 60 yachts visit Gizo each year. Prior to the civil unrest, Gizo was visited approximately once per year by small cruise liners engaged in the boutique cruise trade. A number of small day charter vessels, engaged in diving and fishing services, operate from Gizo. Small vessels, powered either by outboard motors or paddled by hand, constitute the greatest amount of harbour activity in Gizo. These boats are used for fishing and to transport people and goods between Gizo and outlying islands and villages.

2.2.1

Demand for Port Waste Reception Services

Except for 205 L drums on one wharf, no other provisions of any sort for the reception of shipgenerated waste were in evidence in Gizo, although bins were aligned along the roadway which runs parallel with the waterfront. With the exception of quarantine waste from itinerant yachts and putrescible garbage from coastal shipping, demand for waste reception in Gizo should be slight, or could be managed in such a manner to achieve this. Most potential waste would be sourced from the inter-island ferries and trading vessels. All of these ships, however, operate from Honiara, which would be better positioned to accept waste. Therefore, these ships should be encouraged to collect waste and retain it onboard until arrival in Honiara, except for the putrescible fraction of garbage which could be landed in Gizo. The many small boats
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operating from Gizo generate minimal waste, and could use the garbage bins located along the main roadway. No scheme, informal or otherwise, is known to operate for the collection of waste oil which would be generated by local motorboats and, to a lesser extent, visiting yachts. It is presumed that this material is re-used to a certain extent for purposes such as lubrication and material preservation, although a significant proportion is likely to be dumped at sea or on land. Gizo appears to be on a reasonably well flushed waterway, with no apparent degradation of port water quality, and none that may be attributed to ship-sourced sewage.

2.3

Other Solomon Islands Ports

Noro (Cutter Point) is the Commodities Export Marketing Authority's buying and export centre in the Western Province. It is also the major shipping port for Solomon Islands logging operations and the site of a fish cannery, and hence, a focus for the activities of FFVs and supporting ‘motherships’. Some oil is imported direct through Noro. This port has been the subject of a recent expansion to improve its capacity. Anecdotal evidence indicates that oil slicks, most likely arising from FFVs and their support ships, are a frequent feature of Noro. Yandina, in the Russell Islands, is a copra export port. There is a 50 m wharf and a sheltered anchorage for vessels up to 150 m in length is also available nearby. Other small ports in the Solomon Islands are used exclusively for the export of logs and timber and there are numerous landings and sheltered anchorages throughout the islands used by local trading and fishing vessels.

2.4

Terrestrial Waste Management

Honiara has a municipal refuse collection service, with wastes transported to a landfill 6 km from the town. The collection service is inadequate for the demand, as evidenced by the large amounts of garbage piled up on road verges around Honiara, periodically burnt-off in situ. The landfill is located on the edge of a mangrove area and is understood to present serious environmental problems, including scavenging, vermin, odour, uncontrolled leachate, contaminated surface water and uncontrolled burning. Access to the site is not controlled and activities are not supervised. Dumping of wastes along the access road leading to the tip is a common occurrence. The Gizo municipal government operates a landfill within 2 km of the waterfront. This facility is rudimentary and exhibits many of the environmental problems typical of landfills in the region. Medical waste from the Gizo Hospital is incinerated.

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It is understood that any waste oil that is collected in the Solomons, is reused for purposes such as chain saw lubrication, or else disposed to landfill or via municipal sewerage systems. The Solomon Islands Electricity Authority (SIEA) services Honiara with two diesel power stations and operates diesel generators in most other regional towns. The SIEA has previously tried using waste oil as a supplemental fuel, albeit unsuccessfully. Sewerage facilities in Honiara are a mixture of septic tanks and municipal sewerage systems with ocean outfalls (primary treatment). Gizo uses septic tanks exclusively.

2.5

Summary and Conclusions

The Solomon Islands supports a sizeable domestic trading and passenger fleet which generates considerable amounts of waste, particularly garbage and oily wastes. Current waste reception facilities are either rudimentary, or non-existent, and it is reasonable to assume that most vessel generated waste from domestic shipping is dumped at sea or disposed inappropriately ashore. Although not totally consistent with MARPOL 73/78 Annex V requirements, a substantial amount of the garbage which is deposited in the sea from domestic vessels is likely to be organic matter which will readily decompose, ameliorating ship pollution effects to some extent. The demand for waste reception by international merchant shipping is slight, consistent with that of other states within the region. The intense level of activities of FFVs in the Solomons, focused upon Noro and Honiara (albeit declined since 2000), also creates considerable potential demand for port waste reception. Anecdotal evidence indicates that FFVs and their support vessels are sources of marine pollution, particularly with regard to oil, and in some cases, used nets which may ‘ghost fish’. The legal foundation for marine pollution prevention in the nation is insubstantial, noting that the nation is not a Party to either MARPOL 73/78 or OPRC 90. Current ship and terrestrial waste management practices in the Solomon Islands are largely ineffective and environmentally damaging.

3.

RECOMMENDED IMPROVEMENTS

The principal demand for the reception of ship-generated wastes arises from the Solomon Islands’ extensive domestic trading and passenger fleet, compounded by current rudimentary measures for the reception and treatment/disposal of these wastes (and possibly deteriorated owing to recent internal conflict and the ensuing economic constraints). FFVs also generate considerable potential demand for shore waste reception, with oily wastes being the greatest concern. Honiara needs to be established as a national centre for the reception of ship-sourced oily wastes and hazardous/noxious wastes. Simultaneously, passengers and crew of domestic inter-island vessels need to be educated to retain wastes onboard, for discharge ashore. In the case of garbage, bins need to be
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placed on (probably all) domestic trading vessels and ferries, and garbage (non-biodegradable material as a minimum) deposited into bins rather than ditched overboard. This garbage can then be landed ashore at suitably equipped ports (such as Honiara, Gizo, Noro). To service FFVs and their support ships, both Honiara and Noro need to install appropriate waste reception capacity, with special focus upon oily wastes.

3.1

Legislative Issues and Status of Relevant Conventions

As a minimum, the Solomon Islands should accede to MARPOL 73/78, and having done so, enact complementary national enabling legislation: The SPREP generic marine pollution bill provides a suitable model.

3.2

Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement

The current application of Port State Controls is understood to be minimal. These should be developed in parallel with the Solomon Islands eventual accession to MARPOL 73/78, augmented by effective Flag State controls on the domestic trading and passenger fleet. Efforts should be made to curtail the amount of garbage, especially non-biodegradable matter, being discharged at sea from inter-island ferries.

3.3

Regional Waste Management Opportunities

The Solomon Islands should:


evaluate options for the export of recyclable materials (aluminium and other scrap metals from Honiara) and hazardous wastes to other ports in the Pacific islands region or further, possibly Australia, for appropriate treatment or disposal. If treatment and re-use of waste oil within the Solomons is not viable, then establish a waste oil export and recovery scheme, based upon the delivery routes of tankers servicing Solomons ports (i.e. to Australia [via PNG from Gizo and Noro] or Singapore).



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3.4

Ship-waste Reception and Management Recommendations
Recommended Improvements to Port Waste Reception: Honiara
Waste Category Waste Management Recommendations Domestic Shipping International Shipping Nil acceptance, except from itinerant yachts

Garbage

Encourage improved use of bins in wharf areas. Educate crews of domestic trading vessels to retain non-putrescible garbage onboard for disposal to shore in Honiara.

Recyclables

Provide collection bins in wharf areas for recyclable aluminium; divert aluminium to Honiara can recycling scheme. Encourage vessel operators to dispose of aluminium separately to general garbage. n/a

Provide suitable collection bins in wharf areas for aluminium cans (ensuring quarantine requirements are met).

Quarantine wastes

Review quarantine waste classification system to ensure only wastes presenting quarantine risk enter quarantine waste stream. Ensure quarantine waste storage, transport and disposal procedures are adequate to ensure all wastes presenting quarantine risk are properly contained and destroyed.

Hazardous/special wastes

Educate crews of domestic trading vessels to retain hazardous/noxious waste onboard for disposal to shore in Honiara. Review current procedures to ensure diversion of hazardous/special wastes from general garbage. Link ship-generated hazardous waste measures to national scheme for capture and export.

Nil acceptance, except in extenuating circumstances.

Oily wastes (waste oil)

Provide waste oil collection facilities (such as drums or pump and tank systems), especially for wharves used by domestic inter-island trading vessels. Investigate option of forwarding waste oil to Australia or Singapore for recycling/disposal.

Nil acceptance except from FFVs. Provide waste oil collection facilities (such as drums or pump and tank systems) for FFVs and support ships.

Oily wastes (oily water)

Provide oily waste collection (such as barge or truck mounted pump and tank systems), and treatment (such as gravity separation system) facilities, primarily for domestic inter-island trading vessels. Refuelling wharf may be a suitable

Nil acceptance except from FFVs. Direct FFVs to use same bilge pumping system as domestic vessels.

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Waste Category

Waste Management Recommendations Domestic Shipping location for bilge-pumping facility. International Shipping

Sewage

N/a, although as a prudent management measure, shore ablution facilities should be provided for crews of domestic trading vessels.

n/a

Recommended Improvements to Port Waste Reception: Gizo
Waste Category Waste Management Recommendations Domestic Shipping Garbage Provide bins in wharf areas. Include wharves in municipal collection rounds. If recycling of aluminium cans found to be viable for nation as a whole, provide suitable collection bins in wharf areas. Encourage vessel operators to dispose of aluminium separately to general garbage. n/a N/a International Shipping

Recyclables

n/a

Quarantine wastes

Review procedures to ensure any material to be landed from itinerant yachts and which poses a quarantine risk is treated as quarantine waste. Nil acceptance, except in extenuating circumstances.

Hazardous/special wastes

Ensure diversion of hazardous/special wastes from general garbage. Encourage domestic trading ship operators to retain onboard for transfer to shore in Honiara.

Oily wastes (waste oil)

Provide waste oil collection facilities (such as drums or pump and tank systems), for local vessels. Encourage domestic trading ship operators to retain onboard for transfer to shore in Honiara. Investigate option of using delivery tankers to carry collected waste oil to PNG for transfer to Australia or Singapore for recycling/disposal.

Nil acceptance, except from itinerant yachts.

Oily wastes (oily water)

Encourage domestic trading ship operators to retain onboard for transfer to shore in Honiara. n/a

Nil acceptance.

Sewage

n/a

Recommended Improvements to Port Waste Reception: Noro and Similar Ports
Waste Category
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Domestic Shipping Garbage Provide bins in wharf areas. Include wharves in municipal collection rounds. If recycling of aluminium cans found to be viable for nation as a whole, provide suitable collection bins in wharf areas. Encourage vessel operators to dispose of aluminium separately to general garbage. n/a

International Shipping Provide bins in wharf areas, ensuring exclusion of noxious and quarantine materials. If recycling of aluminium cans found to be viable for nation as a whole, provide suitable collection bins in wharf areas.

Recyclables

Quarantine wastes

Review quarantine waste classification system to ensure only wastes presenting quarantine risk enter quarantine waste stream. Improve quarantine waste storage, transport and disposal procedures to ensure all wastes presenting quarantine risk are properly contained and destroyed.

Hazardous/special wastes

Review current procedures to ensure diversion of hazardous/special wastes from general garbage. Link ship-generated hazardous waste measures to national scheme for capture and export.

Nil acceptance, except in extenuating circumstances.

Oily wastes (waste oil)

Provide waste oil collection facilities (such as drums or pump and tank systems), especially for wharves used by domestic inter-island trading vessels. Investigate option of transferring waste oil to Australia or Singapore (via Honiara or Lae) for recycling/disposal.

Nil acceptance except from FFVs. Provide waste oil collection facilities (such as drums or pump and tank systems) for FFVs and support ships.

Oily wastes (oily water)

Provide oily waste collection (such as barge or truck mounted pump and tank systems), and treatment (such as gravity separation system) facilities, especially for domestic inter-island trading vessels. Nil data available – specific recommendations not possible, although shore ablution facilities should be provided in wharf areas as a prudent management measure.

Nil acceptance except from FFVs. Direct FFVs to use same bilge pumping system as domestic vessels.

Sewage

Nil data available – specific recommendations not possible, although shore ablution facilities should be provided in wharf areas as a prudent management measure.

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