• 2019 July 13 15:19

    Japanese fishing company convicted of obstruction of justice and falsifying records to cover up illegal oil and garbage pollution

    A Japanese fishing company, Fukuichi Gyogyo Kabushiki Kaisha (Fukuichi), was convicted and sentenced on July 11 in the District of Guam for two violations of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships and one count of obstruction of an agency proceeding, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a press release.

    The charges stemmed from discharges of waste oil and oily bilge water from the F/V Fukuichi Maru No. 112 (the vessel) into international waters and the attempt to cover up those discharges when the vessel was inspected by the U.S. Coast Guard in Apra Harbor, Guam. The charges also included failing to properly document the discharge of fishing gear and plastics from the vessel, and obstructing a Coast Guard Port State Control inspection.

    “Fukuichi broke the law when the company intentionally discharged oily bilge waste into the ocean. To make matters worse, Fukuichi tried to cover up their unlawful acts by obstructing the routine Coast Guard inspection,” said Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Bossert Clark for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “The Department will continue to work with its partners to ensure that companies, both foreign and domestic, comply with the rule of law.”

    U.S. Attorney Shawn N. Anderson stated, “Fukuichi’s fishing vessel plied the waters of the Western Pacific for decades in disregard of basic environmental precautions. It would have continued to do so but for the United States asserting jurisdiction in this criminal prosecution. Our waters and reefs are worthy of protection through punitive enforcement action. We will target any companies or persons who engage in similar unlawful conduct.”

    Fukuichi pleaded guilty to one count of obstruction of an agency proceeding, and two counts of violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships. The company was ordered to pay a $1.5 million criminal fine and serve a five-year term of probation, during which vessels owned and/or operated by the company will be banned from entering the Exclusive Economic Zone, Territorial Sea, or a port or terminal belonging to the United States without prior approval. Fukuichi will also be required to implement a comprehensive Environmental Compliance Plan (ECP) that includes vessel audits. The ECP and associated audits must be sent to the nearest U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port prior to any of the company’s vessels entering U.S. waters or a U.S. port. The COTP will have the discretion whether to allow such entry based upon the company’s compliance with international and domestic laws governing pollution and safety.

    Fukuichi was the owner and operator of the vessel, which conducted fishing operations throughout the Pacific Ocean. The vessel entered Apra Harbor, Guam, on April 1, 2019, for repairs to its cargo refrigeration system. According to court documents, members of the U.S. Coast Guard boarded the vessel and discovered fifteen pollution and safety deficiencies and detained the vessel. The inspectors discovered numerous leaks of water and oil into the bilges and the Chief Engineer confessed that the practice on the vessel was to discharge waste oil and oily bilge water directly into the ocean using an emergency bilge pump system and buckets. The inspectors discovered these systems coated with heavy oil. The inspectors examined the vessel’s Oil Record Book and discovered two hundred and thirty-three incorrect or false entries. Later during the inspection, the inspector discovered that the Chief Engineer obstructed their proceeding by erasing forty-two of the fraudulent or incorrect entries and replacing them with new information. The inspectors also examined the vessel’s Garbage Record Book (GRB) and discovered that it contained a series of “ditto” marks instead of the signature of the officer in charge of managing the garbage. The inspectors determined based on crew interviews that animal carcasses and fishing gear, which included plastic, had been discharged from the vessel and not record in the GRB.

    “I want to highlight the diligent work of the marine investigators who first identified these issues and worked closely with the vessel crew and the Department of Justice for several months to bring it to a conclusion," said Capt. Christopher Chase, Captain of the Port Coast Guard Sector Guam. "Marine pollution prevention and response is a cooperative effort requiring the support of many partner agencies in order to hold those who violate international and U.S. law accountable for their actions. The preservation of the ecosystem here and throughout the Pacific is a top priority for the Coast Guard, and this case is one example of how we complete that mission.”

    “This exceptional collaborative effort continues to deter maritime organizations from these types of devastating illegal practices that threaten to destroy our natural living marine resources as well as level the playing field for the many responsible companies who obey the laws and regulations created to protect these finite resources,” said Coast Guard Special Agent-in-Charge Kelly Hoyle.

    The case was investigated by U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Guam, with assistance from the Coast Guard Investigative Service. The prosecution was handled by Senior Trial Attorney Kenneth E. Nelson of the Environmental Crimes Section of the U.S. Department of Justice and Assistant United States Attorneys Mikel Schwab and Marivic David of the District of Guam.




2019 November 17

14:47 Aker Solutions and leading operators join forces to qualify subsea gas separation
14:12 Wight Shipyard Co to build an innovative hybrid CTV for CWind
12:42 PSA Marine and Wartsila join hands to tackle climate emergency
11:38 A.P. Moller-Maersk improves operational profitability
10:15 ABS and Arista launch smart shipping journey

2019 November 16

16:42 Team Tankers International Ltd. announces Q3 2019 results
15:02 GasLog places NOK 900M of senior unsecured bonds due 2024
14:23 BTG and GoodFuels preparing for major investment in bio-refinery to support shipping’s low carbon fuels demands
13:41 Third L-class delivered in China
12:32 Seaspan to purchase a fleet of six containerships on long-term charter for $380 million
11:28 Mammoet inks agreement with Port of Coeymans Marine Terminal to strengthen presence along East Coast
10:18 Metal Sharks delivers pilot boat duo to BCMT

2019 November 15

18:09 Coast Guard medevacs cruise ship Aida Perla passenger just off Ponce, Puerto Rico
17:48 Sovcomflot reports its results for third quarter and nine months of 2019
17:23 Wärtsilä and PSA Marine collaborate to achieve clean energy shipping
17:15 Bollinger Shipyards contracted to build ocean transport barge
17:00 Composit supports 7th International Forum of Dredging Companies as its Sponsor
16:57 Ulstein unveils its concept of the first hydrogen powered offshore vessel
16:36 RF Government separates positions of Deputy Transport Minister and head of Rosmorrechflot
16:14 IMO holds training on impacts of anti-fouling systems and ships’ biofouling on marine environment
15:39 Norway boosts IMO's GreenVoyage-2050 GHG project
15:11 New Wärtsilä Expertise Centre provides value-adding lifecycle support
14:57 LUKOIL commissions phase three facilities at Filanovsky field
14:30 NSR cargo traffic totaled 26 million tonnes year-to-date, up 63.5% YoY
14:13 Georgia Ports Authority up 3.5 percent to 428,400 TEU in October 2019
13:13 Diana Shipping announces direct continuation of time charter contract for m/v Medusa with Cargill
12:51 Multipurpose Reloading Complex reports 4-fold increase of allocations for environment protection to RUB 11.5 million
12:32 ABI Research: Commercial fleets looking to tech to accelerate ROI in the face of rising costs, competition, and uncertainty
12:13 Port of Oakland names Danny Wan Executive Director
11:28 ESL Shipping participates in Intelligence Hunt
11:00 CMA CGM to apply GRI from Canada West Coast to worldwide destinations (Excluding EU, Russia & USA)
10:41 Delft Dynamics, Next Ocean and Damen perform qualification test in North Sea
10:40 Gremyashii corvette of RF Navy’s Nothern Fleet to be tested in White Sea
10:16 Training ship Perekop of RF Navy's Baltic Fleet arrives in Republic of Myanmar
09:54 Bunker prices go down at the port of Saint-Petersburg, Russia (graph)
09:39 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Nov 15
09:32 Brent Crude futures price is up 0.45% to $62.56, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.51% to $57.06
09:13 Baltic Dry Index is up to 1,364 points

2019 November 14

18:19 French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe inaugurates CEVA Logistics’ new headquarters in Marseille
18:00 Boosting handling of cargo bound for Arctic considered as strategic development vector of Murmansk Commercial Seaport
17:41 Port of Liepaja (Latvia) handled 5.92 million tonnes of cargo in 10M'2019, down 5.1% Y-o-Y
17:20 Gasunie, EBN, Port of Amsterdam and Tata Steel work together on the development of a CCUS project in the North Sea Canal area
16:49 Hung Hua Construction of Taiwan orders third Fast Crew Supplier this year to support offshore wind ambitions
16:36 Main engines loaded onto second serial ship of PV22 project at Nevsky Shipyard
16:15 Hapag-Lloyd announces rates from East Asia to North Europe and Mediterranean
15:59 Yevgeny Savkin appointed as General Director of Novyie Kommunalnyie Tehnologii in Ust-Luga port
15:15 The ICS and ECSA call for immediate and effective intervention after yet another attack in the Gulf of Guinea
15:12 Restoration of 90 year old Amsterdam bridge by Niron Staal
14:43 Expert forecasts scrubbers to consume some 600,000 barrels of heavy fuel per day in 2020
14:14 Norway boosts IMO's GreenVoyage-2050 GHG project
13:32 Sea Port of Saint-Petersburg invested RUB 630 million in development in 9M’19, up 53% YoY
13:11 MOL earns AIP for design of bow wind-shield, ultra-large containership
12:30 Bunker prices are flat at the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
12:04 CMA CGM announces FAK rates from Asia to the Middle East Gulf
11:23 Aleksey Rykovanov appointed as General Director of Murmansk Commercial Seaport
11:01 Arista Shipping starts the path to smart shipping operations with an ocean data agreement with ABS
10:39 RF Government supports expansion of Murmansk Transport Hub capacity to 65 million tonnes by 2035
10:16 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Nov 14
10:02 WesCom Signal and Rescue goes green at METSTRADE 2019
09:38 Three new Damen FCS Patrol vessels for SR Platforms achieve major milestones in a single week