Transport Minister David Collenette today announced that the federal government has successfully prosecuted the M/V Cala Palamos, a Cypriot-registered container vessel, owned by Nordpartner of Limassol, Cyprus and operated by Oldendorff K.E., based in Limassol, Cyprus, for the Canada Shipping Act (CSA) violation of unlawfully discharging an oily substance into Canadian waters.
The pollution incident occurred while the vessel was berthed at Pier 36, in the Port of Halifax, on February 21, 2002.
The vessel’s owner, Nordpartner, was assessed a penalty of $100,000 by the Nova Scotia Provincial Court in Halifax.
Under the polluter pays provisions of the Canada Shipping Act, the owner was also required to cover the $80,000 expended by the Canadian Coast Guard for the cleanup for the approximately 4300 litres of discharged pollutant.
“Transport Canada is committed to ensuring environmentally responsible commercial marine operations,” said Mr. Collenette. “Through several recent pollution prosecutions, Canada has demonstrated to the international marine community that the costs for illegally discharging in Canadian waters are significant.”
On February 21, 2002, Transport Canada initiated an investigation after an oily substance was detected alongside Pier 36 and the adjacent harbour areas. The M/V Cala Palamos had been the last vessel at the berth and was identified as a potential source of the pollution.
As part of the investigation, Transport Canada, with the cooperation of Cuban maritime authority, obtained samples from the vessel following its arrival in its next port, Havana, Cuba. These samples were positively matched with those taken from the spill
Transport Canada has made considerable progress in promoting safe and environmentally sound shipping practices in Canadian waters. The Department will continue to work in close cooperation with other federal agencies, such as Fisheries and Oceans, Environment Canada, the Department of National Defence and Justice Canada, as well as with other national and international partners in order to reduce the occurrence of ship source marine pollution in Canadian waters.
“Transport Canada will continue to prosecute marine pollution offenders, and to seek higher fines from the courts under the Canada Shipping Act, as a deterrent against future occurrences of ship source pollution in our waters,” said Mr Collenette.