For centuries, the world’s oceans were used as a dumping ground for wastes generated by people, with little thought given as to the consequences of such actions. It was not until the 1960s that we began to see increased awareness of the impact of such reckless action on the marine environment, on seafood and on other living resources. In 1972, the London Convention was adopted, banning the dumping of specified wastes at sea, marking a significant step towards regulating the dumping of wastes at sea and protecting the marine environment from human activities. The London Protocol, adopted in 1996, built on and modernized the principles developed under the earlier treaty. The London Protocol turned the regulation around, fully embracing the precautionary principle and prohibiting all dumping of wastes and other matter, except for those on a prescribed list, which may be assessed and given permits for dumping. The London Protocol has been protecting the oceans from indiscriminate dumping of wastes and other matter for more than two decades

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