Carnival cruises fined $20M for polluting sea

| 04/06/2019 | 22 Comments
Cayman News Service

Caribbean Princess

(CNS): The Carnival Corporation has struck a settlement deal with US federal prosecutors over pollution and environmental law violations. The cruise company, which has made an agreement to part finance the Cayman Islands Government’s proposed controversial cruise berthing facility, has agreed to pay $20 million in a settlement for serious pollution charges. The company’s executives appeared in court Monday and came clean, but environmentalists believe Carnival got off lightly as the world’s biggest cruise line continues to pollute the air and oceans.

United States District Court Judge Patricia Seitz ordered top Carnival Corporation executives, including board chairman Micky Arison and CEO Arnold Donald, to appear in court on Monday, 3 June, for the probation revocation hearing. Donald made admissions in open court to the company’s responsibility for the violations.

“The company pleads guilty,” Arnold said. “We acknowledge the shortcomings. I am here today to formulate a plan to fix them.”

However, Judge Seitz noted pointedly, “The proof will be in the pudding, won’t it? If you all did not have the environment, you would have nothing to sell.”

Carnival has agreed to allow more stringent oversight by the court-appointed monitor, create a compliance plan and compliance oversight position in the company. If the company misses agreed deadlines, it will be fined up to $1 million per day and up to $10 million per day if it misses deadlines by ten days.

Carnival has also agreed to reduce its use of single-use plastics by 50% by 2020 and has committed $20 million to improve its food waste management.

The deal comes after one of Carnival’s ship brands, Princess Cruise Lines, pleaded guilty in 2017 to more than a dozen charges relating to vessel pollution, as well as attempts and conspiracy to cover up what it was doing, obstructing justice and failing to maintain accurate records.

A confidential monitor’s report that was published by the judge in April revealed that the cruise line, which docks ships in Cayman waters every week and will be closely involved in the government’s cruise project if it goes ahead, was involved in hundreds of incidents of pollution between April 2017 to April 2018, including illegally dumping sewage, food waste and oil and burning heavy fuel oil in protected areas.

The Caribbean Princess, one of the ships dumping into the ocean, is due here in George Town Harbour on Monday and almost two dozen Carnival ships are expected to call on Cayman this month., an environmental activist organisation, said the agreement was “a backroom deal” showing no regard for those impacted by cruise ship pollution.

“Today’s ruling was a betrayal of the public trust and a continuation of the weak enforcement that has allowed Carnival Corporation to continue to profit by selling the environment to its passengers while its cruise ships contribute to the destruction of the fragile ecosystems they visit,” said Kendra Ulrich, senior shipping campaigner from

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Category: Marine Environment, Science & Nature, USA, World News

Comments (22)

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  1. Say it like it is says:

    Carnival are the lowest of the low yet we welcome them with open arms. I suggest the Port Authority make use of their top of the range patrol boat to check on their ships every time they are in port to see what they may be dumping.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Also likely that Haiti is paying them to pick up garbage in Labadee and dump it at sea somewhere.

  3. Anonymous says:

    They will be polluting a whole lot less when tied up to our new dock and not having to run engines all day long. Not to mention the reduction in oil spilled in to the sea and air pollution form the several dozen tender boats that aren’t tearing up the harbor all day.

    • Anonymous says:

      What are your thoughts on dart’s HUGE contribution word pollution basically funding the majority of growth of your island?
      Asking for the ecosystem.

    • Anonymous says:

      Unless we’re going to hook the ships up to a power supply at the dock they’ll have to run the same engines ‘all day long’ at the pier as they do at anchor because they provide power for all the services on the boat.

      The main engines are shut down at anchor. If you check out the vessels at departure time as they start up ready to leave you’ll see several of them belching black smoke as the engines run up – do you want that right in GT?

    • Anonymous says:

      will they, they have piers in the states and they still happily polluted

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you kidding me? You think they will care at all about our waters when they don’t care about their own? Also, please stop this crap about not needing to use engines when at dock. You are seriously misinformed.

      • Bertie : B says:

        Maintenance is done on ships when they are in dock . If you have ever worked on ships before you would know this . You my friend are misinformed , I work on them .

    • Anonymous says:

      nope that’s not how it works at all. They still run the engines and we will not have garbage and oil reception facilities here. Nice try kirk bot.

      • Bertie : B says:

        They run the generators not the main drive engine ! although both pollute .

        • Anonymous says:

          Normally, in sheltered harbour conditions, the length of time needed to connect a ship to shore power and shut down the vessel’s diesel generator is approximately 40 minutes. Once connected, the ship’s engines are powered down and, simultaneously, the necessary amount of power, provided by local power companies, is used to run the ship’s services while in port. Oasis class have 6 or more 5500Kw variable-pitch transverse thrusters to manoeuvre and keep on station. I think we may find that the best models for an unsheltered deep water pier design with heavy broadside winds, will require on station thrusting to mitigate anchorage torque loads, even while technically “in berth”.

  4. Anonymous says:

    And once they build the piers then they have us by the balls, can’t say anything to them then. What will the government say to them then?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Carnival is an awful company driven by profit alone. They are so short sighted they don’t even realize that they depend on the environment they are destroying for business… Which is exactly how our government operates as well!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Remember.. When one gets caught it is merely the tip of the iceberg.
    But I’m sure they don’t do that around here… LMAO!!!
    WORLDWIDE. All of them

  7. Anonymous says:

    For those that value the globally unique scuba wall diving destination that is the Cayman Islands (home to the Int’l Scuba Diving Hall is Fame), saying no to all future cruise tourism might not be such a bad idea. Even though equating the existence or non-existence of a pier in those terms is a discredited lie. Maybe we should say thank you, but no, to all of the non-compliant liners. Good luck finding an equivalent destination in the Western Caribbean.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I think you’ll find that the previous fine was 2016, not 2017.

    To an $18billion a year turnover organisation these fines are little more than pocket change. In fact they probably regard it as simply part of the cost of doing business, like kickbacks. Last year Carnival wrote off $94milion in what was termed ‘unusual expense’.

    The way to deal with this isn’t to fine the company, it’s to jail the people running it – that’s the only way they’ll change.

    • Anonymous says:

      The American Disabilities Act fines, the ones they point to in justifying the port, are even more laughable. Settlements in the low hundreds.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Check out –

    In December 2016 they were fined $40million for dumping oily waste.

  10. Anonymous says:

    What scum.

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