Global Action against Marine Pollution

On 29 April 2021, Europol released information about the results of Operation “30 Days At Sea 3.0” ‒ a joint effort against marine pollution. The operation was conducted in March 2021 with 300 agencies across 67 countries all over the world and with the support of Europol, Frontex, and Interpol. It achieved the following results:

  • Detection of 1600 marine pollution offences;
  • 500 illegal acts of pollution committed at sea, including oil discharges, illegal shipbreaking, and sulphur emissions from vessels;
  • 1000 pollution offences in coastal areas and in rivers, including illegal discharges of contaminants;
  • 130 cases of waste trafficking through ports;
  • 34,000 inspections at sea and inland waterways, coastal areas, and ports.

Next to typical forms of marine pollution crime, e.g., vessel discharges for the purpose of waste trafficking by sea, the operation also revealed the growth of new criminal trends throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, e.g., disposal of medical waste.

News Guide

EU Europol


Cornelia Riehle LL.M.

Academy of European Law (ERA)

Criminal Law

Deputy Head of Section