Shipping company fined for polluting Cornish coastline

Shipping company Maersk Tankers Singapore Pte Ltd has been fined £15,000 at Truro Magistrates Court after pleading guilty to a breach of UK maritime pollution legislation

In what the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) is describing as a “landmark case”, a shipping company has been fined for polluting the Cornish coastline after being caught dumping waste by satellite imagery.

On 25 February 2012 a satellite operated by European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) detected Singapore registered tanker Maersk Kiera trailing a slick within 12 miles of land in the waters between Land’s End and the Isles of Scilly. Under the Dangerous or Noxious Liquid Substances in Bulk Regulations 1996 (SI 3010), discharge of palm oil slops is permissible subject to certain conditions but it must be in waters over 12 miles from the nearest land.

Captain Jeremy Smart, head of enforcement at the MCA, said, “This is the first time satellite imagery has been successfully used as primary evidence in a maritime pollution prosecution brought by the MCA. The Agency will use all means available to identify and prosecute those carrying out illegal discharges within the UK Pollution Control Zone.”

The owner of the Maersk Kiera, Maersk Tankers Singapore Pte Limited, was fined £15,000 at Truro Magistrates Court on 4 October. It was also ordered to pay a £120 victim surcharge and prosecution costs of £7404.88.

Photo:©EMSA/MDA 2012

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