Fishing Vessel, Engineer Guilty of Environmental Crime

U.S. Department of Justice
Monday, January 14, 2013

New Zealand Fishing Company and Chief Engineer Sentenced for Environmental Crimes and Obstruction of Justice.


A New Zealand fishing company that owned and operated the tuna fishing vessel San Nikunau, and a former chief engineer on the ship, were sentenced in federal court today for environmental crimes and obstruction of justice, announced Assistant Attorney General Ignacia S. Moreno of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division and U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Ronald C. Machen Jr.


Sanford Ltd. was ordered to pay a criminal fine of $1.9 million and pay $500,000 in community service to the National Marine Sanctuaries Foundation for the benefit of the Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary in American Samoa.  The former Chief Engineer James Pogue was sentenced to 30 days in jail to be followed by two years of supervised release and ordered to pay a criminal fine of $6,000.


“Companies, like Sanford, who benefit from fishing in the oceans and selling their catch in the U.S. must comply with the laws that protect the oceans,” said Assistant Attorney General Moreno. “Today’s sentence makes clear that companies, like Sanford, who deliberately break the law by discharging oil waste into the ocean over a period of years and lie to the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) about their activities, will be held fully accountable under U.S. laws.”


“Deliberately polluting our oceans is not only harmful to our environment– it is criminal,” said U.S. Attorney Machen.  “Today’s sentence sends a clear message to owners and operators of commercial vessels who illegally dump oily waste and try to cover it up.  We are committed to protecting our precious natural resources and will punish companies and individuals who ignore their obligations to our planet and future generations.”


“Some of the world's most pristine marine ecosystems are located in the South Pacific and it is important that the rule of law is regarded and respected even in the most remote areas,” said Captain Joanna Nunan, USCG Commander, Coast Guard Sector Honolulu and Captain of the Port in American Samoa.  “The U.S. Coast Guard is committed to working with the maritime community to help ensure compliance with these environmental standards.”


According to the government’s evidence, in July 2011, the U.S. Coast Guard conducted a Port State Control examination when the vessel returned to Pago Pago, American Samoa. The investigation revealed that the vessel had been routinely discharging oily waste water, without first using equipment to clean the waste water, and making false entries or no entries in an oil record book that vessels are required to maintain accurately, all in violation of international and U.S. laws.


According to evidence presented at trial, Sanford Ltd. operates the fishing vessel San Nikunau, a vessel that routinely delivers tuna to a cannery in Pago Pago.  Over the past five years, Sanford was paid over $24 million for tuna deliveries.  Sanford Ltd. was convicted of numerous charges including conspiracy and causing the vessel to enter into the port of Pago Pago with a knowingly falsified oil record book.  Sanford Ltd. was also convicted of failing to maintain an accurate oil record book and failing to disclose that required pollution prevention equipment had not been used on the vessel.  Sanford Ltd. was also convicted of discharging machinery space bilge waste into the port of Pago Pago without using required pollution prevention equipment, including the oil water separator.


Pogue, of Idaho, served as the chief engineer on the vessel between 2001 and 2010.  Pogue was convicted of failing to maintain an oil record book for the vessel and failing to account for transfers of machinery space bilge waste to other areas of the vessel.  In addition, Pogue was convicted of intending to influence a Coast Guard investigation by falsely stating in the oil record book that required pollution prevention equipment had been used when it had not.


This case was investigated by the U.S. Coast Guard.  The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Kenneth E. Nelson of the Environmental Crimes Section of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, Assistant U.S. Attorney Frederick W. Yette of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia and James E. McLeod, a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney from U.S. Coast Guard headquarters.

Maritime Reporter October 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

Wilh. Wilhelmsen, Callenberg Win SHIPPINGInsight Award

Wilh. Wilhelmsen ASA and Callenberg Technology Group were presented the 2015 SHIPPINGInsight Award was today at the SHIPPINGInsight 2015 Fleet Optimization Conference & Exhibition in Stamford, Conn.

Market Growth to Bring More Carnival Ships to China

Eying a rapidly growing cruise market, Carnival Corporation announces plans to sail more ships from China The Chinese cruise market, expected to become the world’s

Insights: Matthew Paxton, SCA President

Matthew Paxton is President of the Shipbuilders Council of America (SCA), and a partner at the law firm of Adams and Reese. SCA is the national trade association


NYK Joanna Rescues Fishermen off Philippines Coast

On October 3, NYK Joanna, a containership operated by NYK, rescued seven fishermen in distress off the coast of the Philippines. While the NYK vessel was sailing on October 3 from Vungtau,

Noreco CEO Quits

Norwegian Energy Company ASA (Noreco) announces that Tommy Sundt is stepping down as CEO of Noreco ASA. Since joining Noreco in September 2014, Tommy Sundt

BSM Completes Global Management Program

Bibby Ship Management has successfully completed its second Global Management Programme which, it says, has helped to develop the management skills of all its


Wilh. Wilhelmsen, Callenberg Win SHIPPINGInsight Award

Wilh. Wilhelmsen ASA and Callenberg Technology Group were presented the 2015 SHIPPINGInsight Award was today at the SHIPPINGInsight 2015 Fleet Optimization Conference & Exhibition in Stamford, Conn.

Dredges Work to Restore National Wildlife Refuge

Dredges are currently being used in a large tidal marsh restoration project at Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Delaware, one of the largest ever marsh restoration projects in the eastern U.

Thordon’s COMPAC for US’ Largest Containerships

Thordon Bearings has signed a contract to supply COMPAC seawater-lubricated propeller shaft bearing solutions to two Jones Act containerships under construction at the Aker Philadelphia Shipyard Inc.

Government Update

Greece: No Plan for Migrant Sea Patrols with Turkey

Greece said on Tuesday it had no plan to carry out joint sea patrols with neighbouring Turkey to stem an influx of migrants and refugees into Europe.   A record 400,

Carter: US Will Sail Wherever International Law Allows

In a clear rebuff to China, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Tuesday that the United States military would sail and fly wherever international law allowed, including the South China Sea.

Asian Shipping Lines Lowers Fees

China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said Japan’s Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line), South Korea’s Hanjin Shipping, Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM),

Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pipelines Port Authority Ship Repair Ship Simulators Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2146 sec (5 req/sec)