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

People & Company News

IBIA Celebrates 23th Annual Dinner

Association appoints new board members and sets priorities for the future   The International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) has appointed three new members

OSV Delivered to MC2 in Dubai

Marine Core & Charter LLC (MC2) headquartered in Dubai has taken delivery of the new build PETRA-1, the first of two, 45-meter Fast Offshore Support Vessels in

Baltic Index Pauses at Record Low

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, ended flat on Thursday after declining for 12 straight sessions

Legal

Vessel Discharge Amendment Push Continues

AWO voices strong opposition to McCain anti-Jones Act amendment   The American Waterways Operators (AWO) is continuing an intensive lobbying campaign to bring

NATO Launches Sea Mission Against People-Smugglers

NATO, EU mission to help target traffickers in Aegean Sea. NATO ships are on their way to the Aegean Sea to help Turkey and Greece crack down on criminal networks smuggling refugees into Europe,

Greeks at Frontline of Migrant Crisis Angry at EU Critics

ABOARD THE AGIOS EFSTRATIOS, Aegean Sea, Feb 11: Greek Captain Argyris Frangoulis lifts his binoculars and with eyes fixed on the Aegean Sea horizon, steers his

Environmental

Update on Seagull Mobile apps for Crew

The Seagull mobile app for crew training status is set to revolutionise the way seafarers track their training records and receive critical safety alerts, by making

Proposed Changes to Long Island Sound Dredged Material Sites

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to amend its 2005 rule that designated the Central and Western Long Island Sound Dredged Material Disposal Sites.

Next Generation Marine Power & Propulsion Conference

The Next Generation Marine Power & Propulsion Conference will be held at the Grand Harbour Hotel, Southampton, U.K. from April 26 to 28, 2016.    This unique

Government Update

NATO Sea Mission Launched against Migrant Traffickers

NATO ships are on their way to the Aegean Sea to help Turkey and Greece crack down on criminal networks smuggling refugees into Europe, the alliance's top commander said on Thursday.

Vessel Discharge Amendment Push Continues

AWO voices strong opposition to McCain anti-Jones Act amendment   The American Waterways Operators (AWO) is continuing an intensive lobbying campaign to bring

NATO Launches Sea Mission Against People-Smugglers

NATO, EU mission to help target traffickers in Aegean Sea. NATO ships are on their way to the Aegean Sea to help Turkey and Greece crack down on criminal networks smuggling refugees into Europe,

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Maritime Standards Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Electronics Ship Repair 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: 0.1109 sec (9 req/sec)