• 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 July 21

12:32 Quark Expeditions debuts new livery and interior design for Ultramarine
11:02 NYK selected for FTSE4Good Index for 17th straight year and FTSE Blossom Japan Index for 3rd consecutive year

2019 July 20

15:47 FortisBC secures first export contract for Tilbury LNG facility
13:42 AIDA Cruises plans practical trial of fuel cells abord one of its ships as early as 2021
12:51 Ports of Long Beach, Los Angeles host Clean Truck Program Rate Workshop
11:37 USCG responds to oil slick near Port Aransas, Texas
10:56 Wallem introduces cloud-based software for simpler workflows

2019 July 19

18:10 NYK holds fleet safety promotion conferences for shipowners and ship-management companies
18:04 Incat Tasmania exports new 111 metre ferry to Spain
17:49 World's largest air-cushioned landing craft takes part in Navy Day parade rehearsal in Baltiysk
17:25 Caspian Flotilla ship crews prepare for Naval Parade
17:03 FortisBC secures first export contract for Tilbury LNG facility
16:22 Project documentation for construction of Nizhny Novgorod hydroengineering facility completed - Victor Vovk
16:03 CMA CGM announces GRR from Asia to East and South Africa
15:50 East Mining Company to invest RUB 11.5 billion in development of its coal project in Sakhalin
15:33 Moby names Damen ASD Tug 2813 Vincenzino O. in Cagliari
15:12 Cargotec posts financial report for January–June 2019
14:47 Blagoveshchensk shipyard completed state trials of hydrographic survey vessel of Project 19910
14:33 NYK recognized for implementation of advanced navigation support tool
14:12 Global Ship Lease announces new charter agreement
13:51 150 graduates of Moscow State Water Transport Academy awarded with diplomas
13:30 RF Government includes NOVATEK’s LNG terminal project into area planning scheme
13:12 Port of Long Beach releases draft Master Plan update
13:07 Epic Gas Ltd. completes acquisition of two vessels of four LPG carriers
12:24 USCG finds federal fisheries violations aboard 5 recreational fishing vessels
12:11 IMO Council condemns tanker attacks in Strait of Hormuz and Sea of Oman
11:31 Naval Group reports order intake growth in H1 to 3.9bn euro
11:14 Ice-breaking LNG carrier for Yamal LNG Project named NIKOLAY URVANTSEV
10:58 Minister of Transport of Malaysia visits World Maritime University
10:26 Saudi Arabia accedes to two important IMO treaties
09:55 Bunker prices are slightly down at the port of Saint-Petersburg, Russia (graph)
09:50 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, July 19
09:33 Brent Crude futures price is up 1.91% to $63.11, Light Sweet Crude – up 1.48% to $56.12
09:16 Baltic Dry Index is up to 2,130 points

2019 July 18

18:05 Future expectations for MPS Terminal 3 in the port in Tema outlined with Government delegation
17:24 PGNiG acquires interest in another gas field in the North Sea
17:18 DNV GL supports 2020 sulphur compliance with online Ship Implementation Plan
17:05 OOCL announces new Middle East / Indian Subcontinent – North Europe Service
16:35 Consortium including DEME and Jan De Nul explores pioneering high-wave offshore solar technology
16:07 Large maritime market players join hands to create high-wave offshore solar panels
15:52 State Duma makes it easier for foreign tourists to visit Russia’s Arctic
15:35 Incat Tasmania delivers new 111-metre ferry to Spain operator Naviera Armas
15:18 Hapag-Lloyd launches South-East India – Europe Express Service // IEX to start operations in October 2019
15:01 Operation ATALANTA welcomes ESPS CANARIAS
14:26 Bunker prices are slightly down at the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
14:00 Diana Shipping announces time charter contract for m/v Selina with Ausca
13:44 PortNews Media Group's anniversary celebration photo release
13:22 Aleksey Khaidukov as President of Novoship
13:00 Global Ports Holding invites proposals for Duty Free and Travel Retail operations at Malaga, Zadar, Cagliari and Catania cruise ports
12:47 East Mining Company eyes arranging offshore transshipment of coal in Kamchatka under Tata project
12:09 Wärtsilä posts financial results for January-June 2019
11:53 Construction of LNG-powered icebreakers to be financed by NOVATEK – Vyacheslav Ruksha
11:31 RF Deputy PM Maksim Akimov set a task to begin dredging in the Gulf of Ob not later than on 1 August 2019
11:09 Port of Muuga strengthened with new ferry connection to Finland
10:48 Primorsky MRC terminal to offer fully closed transshipment of loose cargo
10:30 MAN Energy Solutions gets subsea compression FEED order from Chevron
10:09 Port of Lowestoft names new state-of-the-art pilot boat
09:56 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, July 18
09:50 APM Terminals Callao launches Peru’s first digital customer platform
09:34 Brent Crude futures price is up 0.17% to $63.77, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.02% to $56.79