Ships navigating the Bosporus may soon be checked for emissions and fined for the use of “highly pollutant” fuels, a new regulation passed by the İstanbul Development Agency (İSTKA) on Tuesday states.
The plan, which will see İSTKA partner with scientists and researchers from the İstanbul Technical University (İTÜ), is designed to assess the feasibility of identifying “heavy polluters” among strait traffic and requiring suspect ships to have their emissions measured by authorities. “We find this [project] essential and will be offering our support,” İSTKA Secretary-General Abdülmecit Karataş told Today's Zaman on Monday. İSTKA currently plans to allocate TL 1 million to the project in the hopes of creating a functioning system for measuring maritime emissions and fining vessels deemed to be using “cheap and highly pollutant fuels.”
Among the most important energy shipping routes in the world, the Bosporus is navigated by 50,000 ships every year, and environmental activists and city officials have long questioned the effects of maritime emissions on İstanbul's air quality. Speaking to Today's Zaman on Sunday, project coordinator and geology professor Tayfun Kındap of İTÜ described the emissions of vessels in the Bosporus as “threatening in a very serious way the health [of İstanbulites]."