CRUISE SHIPS BANNED FROM VENICE STARTING 2014

GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS IN ROME ON TUESDAY ORDERED A HALT TO LARGE CRUISE SHIPS PASSING THROUGH THE VENICE LAGOON STARTING FROM NOVEMBER 2014

THE ORDER CAME FOLLOWING A LONG -AWAITED MEETING WITH PREMIER LETTA AND HIS MINISTERS, JOINED BY MUNICIPAL OFFICIALS AND REGIONAL AUTHORITIES OVER HOW TO IMPLEMENT A LAW IN VENICE OVER BANNING LARGE SHIPS FROM PASSING NEAR ITALIAN SHORES.

THE LAW WAS ENACTED NATIONWIDE FOLLOWING THE CRASH OF THE COSTA CONCORDIA CRUISE SHIP IN 2012 WHICH KILLED 32 PEOPLE OFF THE COAST OF TUSCANY, BUT WAS SUSPENDED IN VENICE WHERE THE CRUISE INDUSTRY IS KEY TO THE LOCAL COMMUNITY.

THE MOVE WILL ALSO HELP REDUCING POLLUTION GENERALLY. ACCORDING TO THE ORDER, THIS WILL BE A STEP BY STEP PROCESS. TRANS-ADRIATIC FERRIES WILL ALSO BE BANNED AS OF JANUARY FROM PASSING THROUGH THE GIUDECCA CANAL, THE PRIMARY PASSAGEWAY FOR LARGE SHIPS THROUGH THE MEDIEVAL CITY. THIS SHOULD CUT POLLUTION BY AT LEAST 50%

AS OF JANUARY, CRUISE SHIPS WEIGHING OVER 40,000 TONNES MUST BE REDUCED TO 20% OF THEIR CURRENT VOLUME IN VENETIAN WATERS. THE OUTRIGHT BAN ON CRUISE SHIPS IN NOVEMBER 2014 ONLY APPLIES TO THOSE SIMILAR TO THE COSTA CONCORDIA.

ENVIRONMENTALISTS WARN THAT THE LAGOON SURROUNDING VENICE, ITSELF A UNESCO HERITAGE SITE IS AT GREAT RISK DUE TO ITS FRAGILE ECOSYSTEM.

 

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