Illegal Dumping of Oil From Ships

Oil in Our Waters is a 22-minute documentary about the illegal dumping of oil from ships. This film explores the extent of the problem, the impact of oil on the marine environment, the creation of MARPOL, the rewards for whistleblowers, and the penalties faced by polluters caught in the United States.

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Source: Marine Defenders

German Shipping Companies Guilty for Illegal Dumping of Oil at Sea

Two German shipping companies pleaded guilty in early November in federal court in Houston to criminal charges that they concealed the illegal dumping of oil at sea from U.S. Coast Guard inspectors. The operator and owner of the commercial cargo vessel MV Susan K, will pay a $1.2 million dollar criminal penalty, $200,000 of which will go to the National Marine Sanctuaries Fund as a community service payment for projects aimed at preserving and restoring the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary located off the Texas coast. As a condition of probation, all vessels owned or operated by the defendants will be prohibited from entering U.S. ports or waters for five years.

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Assessment of Regulated Slow Steaming in the Maritime Industry

On February 2012 the Clean Shipping Coalition (CSC) released a report on the impacts of vessel speed on emissions, technical constraints and other experiences with slow steaming and current speed regulations, analyzing at the same time the legal feasibility of regulated slow steaming. Currently, fleet average ship speeds vary as the shipping sector adapts to changing market circumstances. In recent years, speeds have been reduced in a response to an increasing supply of ships, a slower increase in demand for maritime transport and rising fuel prices.

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Canada Iron Fertilization Incident

IMO released today a press briefing on concerns expressed by the Contracting Parties to the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter, 1972 (London Convention) and to the 1996 Protocol thereto (London Protocol). The concerns expressed during the meeting in London from 29 October to 2 November 2012 are related to activities conducted by the Haida Salmon Restoration Corporation which involved the deliberate introduction into surface waters of 100 metric tonnes of iron sulfate during July 2012 in waters off the west coast of Canada.

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Shell Arctic Oil Spill Response Fleet

Maritime Waste Oil

Prestige Oil Spill Trial Begins

10 years after the Prestige oil spill off the Spanish coast, four men, including the vessel’s Master, went on trial last week in a northern Spanish Court. The Prestige oil spill is claimed to have caused the worst oil slick in Spain’s history, as 50,000 tonnes of fuel oil was dumped into the sea.

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Arctic Environmental Report on Shipping Exploitation

Last week Transport & Environment NGO released a report highlighting environmental threats from increased shipping activities in the Arctic. As the decline of Arctic sea-ice continues, the prospect of an ice-free Arctic ocean in the near future draws closer. Arctic melting is seen by industry and some governments as an opportunity to develop human and exploitative activities in the region (oil and gas production, mining, shipping, tourism). But while Arctic melting is surely an effect of climate change, it is imperative that it does not become another cause of climate change. This vicious circle threating the Arctic and the global ecosystems needs to be broken.

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Shipping Company Fined for OWS Discharges

A Greek shipping company must pay the US federal government $300,000 after admitting that one of its vessels discharged waste oil into the Atlantic Ocean, U.S. Attorney Donald J. Cazayoux Jr. announced Wednesday in Baton Rouge. “The oceans must be protected from shipping companies that look to cut corners by dumping waste improperly,” said Ivan Vikin, special agent-in-charge of the EPA’s criminal enforcement program in Louisiana.

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EU Approved Legislation Regarding Low Sulphur Fuel

Stricter limits on the sulphur content of shipping fuels are set to improve air quality along European coastlines and reduce the estimated 50,000 premature deaths caused each year by air pollution from ships. EU parliament today approved legislation agreed with member states, which requires new general limits to be in place by 2020.

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