June 14, 2004

Fishing vessel levied precedent-setting fine of $170K for marine pollution offences

ST JOHN'S, NFLD-A Newfoundland and Labrador provincial court judge has ordered the Fishing Vessel (FV) Olga to pay a $170,000 fine following conviction on two charges under the Canada Shipping Act. This is the highest penalty ever assessed in Canada against a vessel for a marine pollution offence under the act. In February 2002, a Canadian Coast Guard surveillance flight spotted an oil slick approximately 134 kilometres southeast of Cape Race, Newfoundland. A subsequent investigation by Transport Canada determined that the slick, containing about 20 litres of oil, originated from the FV Olga. As a result, the vessel was charged under the Canada Shipping Act with illegally discharging an oily substance in Canadian waters and failing to report the discharge. This precedent-setting fine marks the second time this year the FV Olga has been penalized for polluting Canadian waters. In April, the Olga was ordered to pay $113,000 after being convicted on charges, also under the Canada Shipping Act, for a marine pollution incident dating back to April 2001.
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