Cruise and passenger ship Air quality Impact Mitigation Actions


CAIMANs studies the impact of passenger maritime traffic on air quality in five important port cities in the northen Mediterranean: Barcelona, Marseilles, Genoa, Venice and Thessaloniki. It expands its analysis on the whole Mediterranean area, trough a participatory consulation towards other port cities, including southern Mediterranean coasts.
CAIMANs aim to pave the way for a joint policy response on the air pollution impact due to the tourist sector of cruise and passenger ship in the Mediterranean basin in order to reach an integrated approch concerning the mitigation of environmental risks (Integrated Maritime Policy for the Mediterranean)


  • Air pollution mitigation of passenger ships needs complementary and integrated policies and planning, from international to national and local levels, to find the most effective solutions that minimize the impact on population, the environment and the cultural heritage of Mediterranean port cities.
  • European and international policies on fuels, engine technologies and ship emission abatement, by acting on a wider domain, could be very effective in the mitigation of negative impacts on public health and the environment; on the contrary, local regulations on these issues could penalize single harbors that try to reduce ship impacts on a local scale. Nonetheless, planning strategies on the local scale could be more effective in implementing specific mitigation actions, such as displacement of ship terminals or maneuvering routes, which could significantly reduce the population exposure.
  • Considering air quality limits set by the current European legislation in order to protect human health, the hourly nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations are those of major concern among all air pollutants emitted by passenger ships.
  • The shift to a passenger ship fleet with engines fueled by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is a very effective air quality mitigation scenario for the foreseen growing emissions in maritime touristic traffic.



  • In Mediterranean harbor areas, where high population density often coexists with industrial sites, there's a need for technical projects and initiatives that address the monitoring and management of the environmental risks in an integrated perspective;
  • Focusing on air pollution, European funding could enhance and promote the development of integrated monitoring networks. These networks would use harbor activity information, territorial data, and air quality measurements, and through the use of modelling tools would allow a better air quality assessment both in space and in time.


  • Future cooperation projects on governance level, aiming at mitigating air pollution due to maritime transport, should promote, strengthen, and enhance networking between Ports, Local Environmental Authorities and Scientific Institutions.


  • Fruitful relations with other MED Maritime Integrated Projects (MERMAID, POSEIDON, SMARTPORTS, Med-IAMER): exchange of data, confrontation on overlapping contents and methodology complementarities in the field of air pollution impact assessment and air quality monitoring and management with special focus on harbour areas
  • Operational relations to other European-funded projects:
    • GOUV’AIRNANCE: Integrated territorial governance of Air Quality: Reducing the health impact of air pollution based on participatory approach and open-plan, multi-level management of air quality in four Mediterranean cities: Tripoli (Lebanon), Aqaba (Jordan), Valencia (Spain) and Marseille (France) :
    • AERA: Franco-Italian cooperation. Actions plans: Improvement and harmonization of knowledge a methods for planning and air quality evaluation.
    • PART’AERA: Franco-Italian technical cooperation. Compare methods for measuring fine particles. Identify the main sectors involved in particulate pollution
    • APICE: Realistic action plans to reduce port, urban and industrial emissions: Implementation of aid decision tools on port aeras
  • Contribution to COM&CAP events and initiatives putting with international expertise on air quality management and air pollution mitigation