September 5-12, 2005

Marine polluter levied $70K fine for violating Canada Shipping Act

ST JOHN'S, NL - A $70,000 penalty has been imposed on a Dutch cargo ship, the Motor Vessel (MV) Project Europa, following conviction on charges under the Canada Shipping Act associated with the unlawful discharge of an oily substance into Canadian waters. In August 2003, a Canadian government marine pollution surveillance flight detected a slick in the wake of MV Project Europa, a cargo ship registered in the Netherlands and owned by Biglift Goedkoop BV of Amsterdam. At the time, the vessel was approximately 65 miles south of Cape Race, Newfoundland and was traveling from Spain towards Montreal. Transport Canada Marine Safety, in St John's, made arrangements for the ship to be boarded at Trois-Rivières, Québec. An on-board investigation was carried out while the ship was en route between Trois-Rivières and Montreal. A further investigation was carried out after the ship arrived in the port of Montreal. The investigation determined that the slick contained approximately 40 litres of an oily substance and that the oil originated from the MV Project Europa. The investigation also concluded that the oily water release occurred while the ship's engineers were working on the oily water separator. Transport Canada Marine Safety subsequently charged the vessel under the oil pollution prevention regulations of the Canada Shipping Act. The vessel pleaded guilty to the illegal discharge and was fined $70,000.

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