Concerns raised about visible emissions from cruise ship vessel Resilient Lady

​​​The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has received ongoing complaints from the community regarding persistent and extensive smoke plumes that have been evident on the cruise vessel Resilient Lady's recent visits to Tasmanian ports.

As the regulatory authority responsible for overseeing the international shipping emission regulations adopted by Australia, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority has advised that their investigation has concluded that the ship is meeting its obligations and operating within established system and emission limit requirements for sulphur oxide and nitrogen oxide. This does not mean that no emissions are expected from the cruise ship.

The EPA Director wrote to Virgin Voyages on 23 February 2024 seeking information about why the vessel has been emitting significant smoke plumes in both Hobart and Burnie, but not when in Sydney.

A response from Virgin Voyages was received on 26 February 2024 advising that the company was aware of the concerns raised about visible emissions from Resilient Lady, and that for future calls to Tasmania they will be switching to marine gas oil, an allowable option for vessels to comply with international emission requirements and where visible emissions are reduced. This is a goodwill and voluntary action by Virgin Voyages and not a regulatory requirement.

 Virgin Voyages Reponse - 26 February 2024 (PDF 68Kb)

The EPA is not the regulator of the international emissions requirements so cannot investigate those matters, however, can still investigate general pollution matters in Tasmania.

The pollution from shipping and its effects on the environment and human health is of global concern and is being addressed on an international scale. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is progressively introducing regulatory measures aimed at preventing pollution from ships, including cruise ships.

For further information, Cruise Ship Emissions.

To notify the EPA of pollution or an environmental incident, members of the public are encouraged to call the Pollution Incidents and Complaints Hotline number 1800 005 171.

Published on: 28/02/2024