$70,000 Fine for Marine Polluter

Monday, October 24, 2005
A Newfoundland and Labrador provincial court judge has ordered the Motor Vessel (MV) Nordic Fighter, a Norwegian-registered tanker, to pay a $70,000 penalty for illegally discharging a pollutant in Canadian waters. On June 22, 2004, a routine Transport Canada marine pollution surveillance flight detected three slicks in the wake of the MV Front Fighter (now known as the Nordic Fighter). The pollution incident was detected approximately 85 miles southwest of Cape St. Mary’s, NL. The Front Fighter was traveling from Yorktown, Virginia toward Whiffen Head, Newfoundland and Labrador at the time. Upon its arrival at Whiffen Head on June 23, Transport Canada Marine Safety Inspectors boarded the vessel and conducted an investigation into the incident and determined that the oil, the amount of which was estimated to be about 64 liters, originated from the MV Front Fighter. As a result of the investigation, Transport Canada laid charges against the vessel in Newfoundland and Labrador provincial court on June 30, 2004 under the Pollution Prevention Regulations of the Canada Shipping Act. The vessel pleaded guilty to the charge of illegal discharge of a pollutant in provincial court in St. John’s, NL and was subsequently fined $70,000. At the time of the pollution incident, the vessel was named Front Fighter and was owned by Frontline Ltd, of Oslo, Norway. The vessel has since then been sold to new owners and re-named Nordic Fighter. Transport Canada is committed to ensuring environmentally responsible commercial marine operations and to prosecuting marine polluters whenever there is sufficient evidence. Penalties imposed by the courts act as a deterrent for any would-be polluter. The department continues to work in close cooperation with other federal agencies, such as Fisheries and Oceans, Canadian Coast Guard, Environment Canada, the Department of National Defence and Justice Canada, as well as with other national and international partners in order to eliminate ship source marine pollution in Canadian waters.

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