• 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 September 21

16:17 USCG responds to breakaway barges striking I-10 San Jacinto River bridge
15:14 Eastern Shipbuilding launches the C.D WHITE for E.N. Bisso & Son
14:06 Boskalis associate Smit Lamnalco signs first 10-year terminal services contract in Mozambique
12:52 Kongsberg wins first full-scope expedition cruise vessel tender, with gensets and propulsion equipment
11:34 Rauma Shipyard bags Finnish Navy's four corvettes order

2019 September 20

18:41 Vostochny Port joins Coordinating Council on Trans-Siberian Transportation as its permanent member
18:22 IAA PortNews offers photo release from 'Development of Icebreaking and Support Fleet' conference held on NEVA 2019 zero-day
18:05 Global Ship Lease announces new five-year $268 mln credit facility for debt refinancing
17:24 Vostochny Port’s harbour services fleet presented at dedicated conference in Saint-Petersburg
17:05 F. A. Vinnen places entire fleet with Verifavia Shipping & Rina for IHM services
16:50 Helsinki Shipyard (Finland) to build two liners for polar cruises
16:35 COSCO SHIPPING Ports announces disposal of interest in various port assets and possible disposal of Taicang Terminal and Jiangsu Petrochemical Terminal
16:21 ABB presents electric power and propulsion solutions for icebreaking vessels at NEVA 2019
16:05 Port of Los Angeles protects overall clean air gains
15:19 Port of Riga rapidly increases volume of handled wood pellets
14:53 South Korean port to slash passenger vessel emissions with ABB shore power
14:15 Krasnoye Sormovo launches Pola Pelagia, dry cargo carrier of Project RSD59З, for Pola Rise
13:30 Damen Shipyards Group is ready to ensure construction of electric water buses for rivers and canals of Saint-Petersburg and Russia
13:12 MSC Cruises and Fincantieri unveil further details of MSC Seashore at coin ceremony
12:24 Victor Olersky sees promising future of electric river passenger ships in Saint-Petersburg and in Russia
12:09 Algoma Central Corporation announces agreement to acquire Croatian-built vessel
11:28 Specifications for 0.50% sulphur fuels and the PAS from ISO: IBIA explains
11:09 GTT obtains Approval in Principle from Bureau Veritas for the Mark III Flex technology on ice-breaking LNG carriers
10:52 IBIA and S&P Global Platts collaborate to help shipping industry comply with IMO 2020
10:31 Workshop for training on emergency response, preparation and planning held in Manila
10:09 Van Oord and Shell test the use of biofuel on trailing suction hopper dredger HAM 316
09:50 State Duma ratifies Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea
09:33 Brent Crude futures price is up 0.20% to $63.73, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.98% to $58.7
09:25 Lloyd’s Register, China Merchants, GTT, CNOOC, DSIC form jv to design LNG-fuelled VLCC
09:17 Baltic Dry Index is down to 2,192 points
08:58 MABUX: Bunker Market this morning, Sept 20

2019 September 19

18:04 Bibby Marine Services takes the next step to optimize walk-to-work operations
17:56 Marinet approves Poseidon maritime cyber security project
17:37 American Ethane reveals plans to order 17 VLECs
17:34 Wärtsilä’s Board of Directors decided on the distribution of the second dividend instalment
17:22 Marinet approves T2OT project for high accuracy positioning of seagoing vessels
17:04 VARD secures advanced stern trawler contract with Luntos
16:50 Average wholesale prices for М-100 HFO down to RUB 14,328 in RF spot market
16:34 Zeebrugge port authority invests in new 1,071 meter quay wall
16:04 RINA to classify Swedish Maritime Administration fleet
15:53 Marinet set to establish exports support center in Finland in 2020
15:34 MacGregor secures orders worth more than EUR 20 million for projects in Europe and Asia
15:05 Wärtsilä foresees a lower result for 2019
14:31 North Pole ice-resistant platform presented by Admiralteiskie Verfi at NEVA 2019
14:09 ABS announces LNG Cargo Ready notation for ethane carriers at Gastech 2019
13:46 Hyundai Heavy Industries receives AIP for new LPG carrier design
13:03 Bunker prices go up at the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
12:40 ABS and AEC сollaborate on newbuild VLEC fleet
12:17 Murmansk Sea Fishing Port handled 171,200 tonnes of cargo in 8M’2019, down 28.5% Y-o-Y
11:58 PortNews-TV offers video on naming ceremony for PortNews tanker
11:36 International symposium on Anthropogenic Underwater Noise held in Hamburg on 10 September
11:09 LR awards DSME AiP for 98,000 m3 VLEC design with High MnA steel tank
10:42 Ships of RF Navy’s Caspian flotilla take part in Tsentr 2019 maneuvers
10:09 Singapore and Panama ink MoU to strengthen maritime relations
09:51 Brent Crude futures price is up 0.20% to $63.73, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.33% to $58.23
09:49 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Sept 19
09:33 Baltic Dry Index is down to 2,266 points
09:18 ABS grants AIP for two next generation gas carrier designs

2019 September 18

18:26 SGRE confirmed member of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices in 2019
18:03 MOL repays existing loans through issuance of project bond for FPSO charter project