Bahamas needs law to prevent cruise line pollution

| 24/04/2019 | 8 Comments
Cayman News Service

Carnival ships dumped sewage in Bahamas waters

(CNS): The Bahamas tourism minister has said the country may need to create new legislation to prevent cruise ships from dumping sewage in its waters. Dionisio D’Aguilar said he is very concerned about allegations emerging from a US court case that Carnival cruise ships had dumped nearly half a million gallons of sewage in Bahamian waters in 2017. Speaking to the local press, D’Aguilar explained that the government there had only learned that the cruise line was polluting its waters as a result of reports about a US judge threatening to ban Carnival ships from US ports.

Carnival Corporation was fined $40 million and given a five-year probation after pleading guilty in 2016 to numerous charges relating to illegally dumping in the oceans. When the company failed to address the issues and during the probation period illegally discharged nearly 500,000 gallons of treated sewage in Bahamian waters, Judge Patricia Seitz threatened to ban the cruise company from American ports and had also threatened to jail the directors.

D’Aguilar said this US case in Miami had “opened our eyes” to the need to enact laws and facilitate whistle-blowing to encourage reports of illegal dumping.

While cruise ships are important to our economy, we don’t want to cause long-term, lasting, negative effects to our environment in our pursuit to get economic enhancement,” he said. “If there is no requirement for them to on their own be honest and report them to the American authorities, then we’re the small fish, they are certainly not going to report them to us.

Carnival is slated to develop a new cruise port in Grand Bahama, and despite the company’s claim that environmental issues are extremely important to it, the US court found that in addition to the sewage dump in the Bahamas, the cruise line had committed numerous other environmental violations across the globe.

The cruise line is one of several companies that the Cayman Islands Government recently cut deals with over the financing of the controversial cruise berthing project here, which poses massive environmental threats to the local marine environment.

As well as directly destroying acres of coral and several culturally and historically significant ship wrecks in George Town harbour within the proposed dredging area, many more acres are also going to be destroyed during construction as a result of the sediment that will settle on the surrounding reefs.

Whatever coral reefs that manage to survive that onslaught will remain under threat from the sediment caused by the coming and going of vessels once the berthing facilities are open.

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Category: Business, Caribbean, Tourism, World News

Comments (8)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    $40 million fine? That’s a joke! If they impounded a few of the ships Carnival might wake up. The reality is this is an unregulated industry doing what the heck it likes.

    https://www.newscientist.com/article/2191427-france-and-others-plan-to-tackle-air-pollution-in-mediterranean-sea/

  2. Anonymous says:

    What type of monitoring do the Cayman Islands have to ensure tourists are not swimming in 500,000 tonnes of sewage as well?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Disclosure I hate the port proposal.

      There are international regulations knows as MARPOL that prevents pollution by sewage, oil and exhaust gas. To actually answer ur question monitoring and informent of these regulations is handled by the port state control inspectors employed by the maritime authority. They have the power to detain vessels if found to be non compliant with these or other international regulations.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Thanks for the reply

        MARPOL seems to be a bit of a joke to the cruise line industry. I do not think enforcing marpol is valid since cruise liners themselves refuse to install emission abatement systems in their new ships. You have to rely on whistleblowers to enforce MARPOL which makes it unreliable. It seems they do eveyrthing they can to find shortcuts and save money…google is full of stories from illegal dumping to pollution. It’s hard to underestimate the pollution they emit, from burning heavy fuel to dumping illegal waste to damaging coral. Each ship is emitting the same pollution as 5 million cars going the same distance. My question is less to do with the regulation of ships and enforcement of MARPOL. My question is when 5 to 7 of these small cities are in our port, putting the pollution of millions of cars into the air and dumping illegally, who is monitoring the air quality and water quality for us who live here?

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  3. Anonymous says:

    I like cats

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  4. Anonymous says:

    They are disgusting things. Let’s try and limit them here. Stay over guests actually spend money.

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