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 Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter June 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

Northern Lights Opens Branch Office in Louisiana

Marine power generation and climate control products manufacturer Northern Lights has opened its fifth branch office, in Kenner, La, to enhance service to Gulf

Sevan Marine Divests Stake in KANFA Aragon

Sevan Marine ASA said it has disposed 50 percent of its stake in KANFA Aragon AS to Sembcorp Marine Ltd. for cash consideration of NOK 20 million, representing

EU to Accept Antitrust Offer from Maersk, MSC, 13 Others

World No.1 container liner Maersk, Swiss peer MSC and 13 other shipping firms are set to escape possible penalties as EU antitrust regulators plan to accept their offer to end a five-year probe,

Legal

ECDIS Related Detentions on the Rise

ClassNK has been informed by Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) that during PSC inspections it has been increasingly reported that vessels have been detained

CMA CGM Crosses 90% Ownership Threshold in NOL

Container shipper CMA CGM S.A. has crossed the 90 percent ownership threshold in Neptune Orient Lines Limited (NOL), enabling it to bring the Singapore company private.

UAE Top Court: Physical Bunkers Suppliers Have No Right to Recourse against Owners/Charterers

The OW saga - UAE Federal Supreme Court decides that physical suppliers of bunkers have no right to recourse against Owners/Charterers. In the first decision

Environmental

Groningen Seaports First in Line for Damen InvaSave

The first production version of Damen’s InvaSave ballast water treatment system – intended for use at Groningen Seaports – will be on display at the upcoming ‘DelfSail’

Charting the Shift of Oceanic Boundary Currents

Global warming results in fundamental changes to important ocean currents. As scientists from the Alfred-Wegener-Institute show in a new study, wind-driven subtropical

Chemical Tanker Runs Aground off Alaska

A 599-foot Norway flagged chemical tanker Champion Ebony ran aground near Nunivak Island, Alaska on June 24.   U.S. Coast Guard Sector Anchorage watchstanders

Government Update

Russia, US Blame Each Other for Maritime Incident

Russia and the United States gave contradictory accounts on Tuesday of an incident involving the two countries' navies in the Mediterranean Sea on June 17, each

China's Robust Crude Oil Imports Mask Changing Fuel Dynamics

China is a bigger concern for crude oil and products markets than the current worries about the British vote to leave the European Union.   While the news media

EU to Accept Antitrust Offer from Maersk, MSC, 13 Others

World No.1 container liner Maersk, Swiss peer MSC and 13 other shipping firms are set to escape possible penalties as EU antitrust regulators plan to accept their offer to end a five-year probe,

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Naval Architecture Pipelines Port Authority Salvage Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
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: 0.1657 sec (6 req/sec)