Cruise lines still polluting

| 07/10/2019 | 70 Comments
Cayman News Service
Carnival Corporation fined for pollution

(CNS): Environmental credentials claimed by the cruise lines partnering with the Verdant Isle group during their recent visit to the Cayman Islands rang hollow after a US federal judge said that Carnival Corporation was still not doing enough to fix the ocean pollution it caused. Activists campaigning against the cruise port that Verdant Isle has won the bid to build want to know how people in Cayman can trust the port partners when they are violating a court order and continuing to damage the marine environment.

With the date and the question for the referendum on the proposed facility now fixed, activists continue to press government for critical information to help voters decide. In the meantime, they are also concerned about information already in the public domain that raises red flags about the organisations government is planning to work with.

“Cayman cannot afford to partner with an entity that has such a negative track record and that continues to abuse and remain non-compliant with court orders and breach environmental laws,” a spokesperson for CPR said.

They urged voters to come out in record numbers and say “no to the destruction of our God-given marine environment which ‘He hath founded it upon the seas’ for us all to enjoy and protect,” CPR said.

The news that Carnival is still not fulfilling the terms of its probation was aired in a Miami federal court last week, when Judge Patricia Seitz said she had expected more concrete action and fewer promises from the world’s biggest cruise line in addressing the conviction over pollution dating back to 2016.

Carnival was fined a further $20 million for violating the terms of its probation, on top of the original $40 million fine imposed in 2016.

The management claimed the company was doing a lot, but that it takes time to implement real changes at a company with 120,000 employees, more than 100 cruise ships and nine different brands.

These comments were not dissimilar to the claims made by president of Royal Caribbean, Micheal Bayley, when he was in the Cayman Islands. Answering questions from CNS about the negative reputation the sector has when it comes to dealing with pollution, dumping sewage, staff exploitation, allegations of covering up crimes on board ships and many other negative concerns, Bayley said it was easy to criticise the industry but that it was trying.

He made claims that Royal’s staff retention was excellent and it had an “ethical core”. He said the industry was aware that they had to do more to change but implied that the criticisms were often based on “emotional responses” and there was always an environmental impact with everything

The CPR spokesperson told CNS that they were amazed that the government would do so little due diligence on the people that they were about to partner with on Cayman’s biggest ever and extremely controversial project.

“Given the significant environmental damage this project will cause, how can the government take such a risk with our marine environment when they have such a poor track record, which has been well documented on pollution and environmental damage,” CPR added.

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Category: Business, development, Local News, Science & Nature, Tourism

Comments (70)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I suspect it isn’t a far reach when the CIG government allows the dump to be the environmental disaster it is, that they also don’t care how cruise ships manage their waste.

    It would be like the pot calling the kettle black.

    If you think of it, Cayman is the perfect partner for cruise lines.

    Both of them could care less.

  2. Anonymous says:

    5 years from now when we are a wasteland and the island is shut down much like Maya Bay and Boracay was, you’ll be wishing you would of protested the environmental impact.

    • Anonymous says:

      This country is facing another huge problem, but is unable to comprehend how serious it is.
      Sargassum. It is here. It needs a place to go. It needs an approved site that’s far from populated areas and public water sources, as decomposing sargassum seaweed generates toxic fumes that have been linked to hydrogen sulfide poisoning and also corrodes copper in air conditioning units, plumbing, and electrical systems.

      Millions decomposing iguanas and now sargassum is a dangerous addition to the Dump. Someone should be losing its sleep over it.

  3. Elvis says:

    Smoke coming out of that ship looks like a lot of trucks on Cayman’s roads for years now.
    Start cleaning up or own back yard and yes vote no

  4. Anonymous says:

    This is why we need a mandatory cancer case registry.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The cruise ships at dock don’t run their engines. When they anchor they still have to run the big engines and propellers to keep the ship straight, so they are more polluting without a dock.
    That doesn’t even count all the diesel spilling all over the George Town Harbour front all day as those 20 year old boats go back and forth all day long.

    • Anonymous says:

      4:34 Wrong. When they’re at anchor the main engines are shut down. They don’t use the main propellers to maintain position but thrusters, which are electric. The amount of pollution generated is exactly the same whether the ships are anchored or docked. I’ll concede the tenders are another matter but it would be a lot cheaper, and far less risky, to fix that than build the dock.

      That belch of smoke is main engine start up. If you watch cruise ships leaving here you’ll see it.

  6. Anonymous says:

    It is frankly jaw-dropping that the same sneaky cast have been allowed to team up to once again proceed to this state of affairs, having earned nothing from THEIR OWN PRIOR MISTAKE, having paid a $2.1mln settlement to GLF for terminating its contract to build cruise ship berthing facilities in 


    “Premier McKeeva Bush, when questioned by Leader of the Opposition Alden McLaughlin, acknowledged that $2,093,750 listed as compensation under “other executive expenses” for Mr. Bush’s Ministry of Finance, Tourism and Development in a supplementary budget presented to the Finance Committee this week was an amount paid in settlement to the Italy-based company. Mr. Bush said the government thought if the case had gone to court it would have cost the Cayman Islands between $5 million and $7 million. “We felt it would cost us more to go to court, even with a chance to win. I took the decision to settle the matter,” the premier told legislators.”

    Can anyone else remember as far back as 2012?

  7. Anonymous says:

    “The radical left”? Sounds like you watch too much Faux News!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Let me see here.
    Would be cheaper and more environmentally friendly for the Government to pay $20,000 a year to each of the potential 500 people who will have a new job out of this supposedly.
    Total cost -$10,000,000 a year
    No extra traffic congestion
    No unsightly cruise ships towering over George Town
    No stress on the coral in the local area
    No accidental releases of any polluting liquid in the area
    No cheapening the tourism.product of the island
    Refocus on the airport and the spending potential of the stay over tourist.

  9. Rodney A. Barnett says:

    I hope all of the Caymanian people who read this column remember that it will be YOUR children, grandchildren and other youngsters who will be stuck with the cost of this government boondoggle. This story is just the beginning, and they will only get worse if you don’t vote against the proposed port.

    Cayman’s future is is the Financial and International Research markets, not tourisim where we get pennies per visitor. Government money should be used to develop and improve education from primary schools to trade schools to higher education specialties.

    I beg all voters to come out to vote against this proposal, and after winning, work diligently to obtain a REAL voice for your people and your island’s future. Then people like me, who have adopted Cayman as our home will feel safe and know we will be able to live in a truly free country…. not like the ones we have escaped from.

    • alaw says:

      if we don’t build the dock now, the children will have to, this will not go away!

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes it will. Pretty soon cruise ships will be hit with fees for the amount of pollution they cause in the world and they will be a thing of the past and we will be left with this concrete bullshit that killed our environment that tourists come to see.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Who let the Kirkbots out?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Instead of focusing on a new port why doesn’t this government focus on more important things like fixing the dump and the traffic situation. Can’t wait to vote them out!

  12. Anonymous says:

    CPR should help the lay public voters to differentiate the legal differences and limits of liability between contracting directly with CCL or RCL as NYSE publicly-listed companies Vs. as undisclosed equity partners in a redacted winning bid represented by a disposable Cayman Brac shell corporation with no assets, staking no bid bond, or security of any kind. Because that’s also a very important difference that the sophisticated people of Cayman should notice and understand. If this goes sideways in any way, they just walk away. Half built? They won’t care. Huge collapse? Tough luck. Buh bye.

    • Anonymous says:

      There is a company owned by someone with a similar name but it is not the same company that is doing this deal. The persons who first mentioned this publicly are now fully aware of this but continue to use this as part of their campaign against the project. It’s untrue but more to the point: it works really well if people don’t know the truth so they continue to say this. Nothing wrong with campaigning on any issue. But no need to try to benefit from blatant lies. Do your research and you will find out exactly the name of the company being referred to and it’s owner neither of which have anything to do with the port project. The name ‘Verdant’ isn’t a novel name at all, anyone can and will use it as it’s a well known part of Cayman’s proud heritage.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well said. You think the simpletons who support this ridiculous project understand your point?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Vote NO plain and simple

  14. Anonymous says:

    There was a similar photo to that of a Carnival ship doing that off GT back in 2007 on the front page of Net News – the message then was the cruise lines don’t care as long as they make a profit. If anyone bothers to search the internet using ‘cruise ship pollution’ it’s a pretty dismal picture. Just over a year ago it was reorted that, ‘It is estimated that an average cruise ship creates 21,000 gallons of sewage and emits the equivalent of 13 million cars worth of sulphur oxide per day.’

    In fairness the latest generation of ships are being built to run on LPG but for the foreseeable future the majority will still use bunker oil.

    Read –

  15. Anonymous says:

    The intense politics of this so called debate is a lot of pollution as well. Politicians and wannabe politicians have hijacked this debate for their own possible success in 2021. The bias is clear. Of course a major global cruise line will have issues in court on any given day. They also do a lot for the environment which won’t be reported because it does not suit the leanings of the hardliners. There is literally no location for us to have an ideal port which will not cause some form of damage to the environment. But we cannot leave things exactly as they are either as that will not work for the long term. People have the right to vote however they like. But please lets not be naive to the politics and yes the very significant private sector commercial interests behind the opposition to the port.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Keep up the reporting CNS. I was distressed to see the Compass launch its new look and allegedly continued editorial independence after a tie up with CIGtv with a headline piece about Alden and that ridiculous Man on the Street video thing that was so bias. I bet they won’t be reporting Carnival pollution either!!!

  17. Anonymous says:

    That picture looks like it was from 30 years ago. You never see any kind of smoke like that from the ships these days.

    • Anonymous says:

      This ship is very much in service…Carnival Elation

    • Anonymous says:

      Only from CUC when they start up.

    • Anonymous says:

      You’re kidding right? Cruise ships burn the cheapest dirtiest diesel that is loaded with sulfur. The only difference is, now they filter the smoke with water to make people like you feel warm and fuzzy, then they dump the dirty water into the sea.

    • Anonymous says:

      Every car and truck on our roads does the same thing, why not report that ?

      • Anonymous says:

        Diesel Engines vs. Gasoline Engines. …

      • Old Fart says:

        Say what? Mr. 1:23, I’m older than dirt, and I’ve NEVER seen any vehicle produce a cloud of smoke that large!

        P.S. And you haven’t, either. If you’re going to be a troll, at least know what you’re talking about.

        • Anonymous says:

          So you’re saying that most cars here would pass an emissions test? You’re funny.

    • Anonymous says:

      Lol. That POS Carnival “Paradise” is always here! Looks like a prison barge.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Vote NO on the referendum…

    See the link below to the Hasan Minhaj video on the Real cost of cruises…

  19. Anonymous says:

    What is the carbon footprint of the diesel emitted by the dozen or so boat tenders?

    By the way, I’m sure the boat tenders are extremely happy with the referendum to protect the monopoly that makes a couple people millions yearly.

    • Anonymous says:

      There would be no cruise industry at all without the tenders.

      At least with the tenders govt is pocketing some $5 a head in tax revenue…

    • Anonymous says:

      Its significantly lower, these cruise ships have on average six engines running that are each the size of one of the tender boats. Also large ships burn some of the nastiest low grand stuff out there.

    • Anonymous says:

      The carbon footprint of the tenders is much lower than the cruise ships. This was scientifically studied in the EIA. It requires less fuel to power the tenders then to get the massive cruise ships into location on the piers.

  20. Anonymous says:

    The radical left is never satisfied. Soon the will demand for the banning of the cruise shippers themselves, because the exhale carbon dioxide.

    • Al Catraz says:

      Not wanting them to dump raw sewage into the waters you fish and eat out of is “radical” now, eh?

    • Anonymous says:

      You are right 11:12. The radical right really likes the great combo of diesel fumes from cruise ships and those lovely fumes from the dump. Doesn’t get much better than that. Stay smart 11:12.

    • Anonymous says:

      Kirkbots are even supporting polluting the seas! Seems like they don’t really understand what they’re paid to upvote or downvote.

  21. Buyer Beware says:

    This government are crazy to mortgage our future with companies like Carnival and Royal Caribbean.

    They do not care about any jurisdiction they operate in and do not care about the environment or complying with environmental laws. They care about making money and striking deals that benefit their bottom line that is why Cayman works for them. They have told us they will change the Cayman tourism model to benefit their vision of what Cayman should look like in their eyes.

    The Cruise lines will not pay for the additional infrastructure upgrades required in this country to accommodate 2.5-3.5million cruise passengers annually in the Cayman Islands.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Support the Port-O-Potty!

  23. Anonymous says:

    Caymanians this need to wake up and vote against this project!

  24. Anonymous says:

    Vote NO on Referendum 19th December 2019. Cayman does not need the this cruise port

  25. Anonymous says:

    Still, lots of watches are sold. Which is nice.

  26. Anonymous says:

    As much as I dislike how much emissions is generated by cruise ships, the reality is that Cayman could turn away every cruise ship and it wouldn’t stop the cruise industry from continuing to pollute..

    Either we take our share of this cake or refuse it like a picky child while others eat their loot.

  27. Anonymous says:

    WHY would ANYONE willfully want to, and allow others to, DESTROY the air we breathe, and forever ruin the underwater and above-water worlds that make Cayman so special??

    Cruise ships are traveling environmental destroyers on so many levels. The daily carbon emissions from the massive amounts of fuel they are required to burn, the waste (organic and inorganic) created by all of the people (both travelers and workers) that is dumped directly into the sea, and the thousands of people who disembark to enjoy Cayman who trample through the streets and further litter the water as their sunscreen leaches from their bodies to the local waters.

    Even the most luxurious cruise ship “local spending” would NEVER come close to compensating the long term, irreversible damage being done by these people and companies.

    Shortsighted, irresponsible madness for this to even be considered.

    • Anonymous says:

      THANK YOU. People don’t seem to understand that a cruise ship emits the same as 1 million cars. 7 ships = 7 million cars. If you factor this with the cruise lines not following regulatory practices, illegal dumping etc, yes they are probably the worst machine for destroying the ocean and air quality.

  28. Anonymous says:

    If we get in bed with dogs we will wake up with fleas


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