Environmental Protection

New Zealand Files Illegal Oil Dumping Charge

Maritime New Zealand filed a total of three charges against Sanford Limited after investigating allegedly illegal dumping of oil into the sea of New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone from the Korean foreign charter fishing vessel Pacinui.

Maritime New Zealand announced it has filed three charges against Sanford Limited after investigating allegedly illegal dumping of oil into the sea of New Zealand's Exclusive Economic Zone from the Korean foreign charter fishing vessel Pacinui. The company is charged with illegal discharge of a harmful substance – oil – from the vessel (under s237 of the Maritime Transport Act), failing to notify MNZ of the discharge (s238), and failure to notify a pollution incident (s239).

The discharge of a harmful substance charge alone has a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment or a fine of $200,000. Each of the two other charges has a maximum fine of $100,000, and for a continuing offense, a further fine not exceeding $20,000 per day or part day the offence is committed.

The agency's investigators began their inquiry in January 2013, examining the ship in Timaru, gathering photographic and video evidence, analyzing samples, and interviewing several members from the ship's Indonesian crew. Crew members will be available to appear as witnesses in the case, if required, and the case is due to be called for the first time in Timaru District Court on Aug. 26.

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