Carnival still polluting, US court finds

| 10/01/2020 | 64 Comments
Cayman News Service
Carnival Freedom belching plumes of black smoke

(CNS): A US court has found more environmental violations by Carnival Corporation, despite it being on probation for pollution felonies and at risk of more multi-million dollar fines. Representatives for Carnival, which is one of government’s partners on the controversial cruise berthing project here, were in court Wednesday for a judge to assess the progress it is making on the issue. But instead she heard that Carnival has burned unfiltered heavy fuel oil in protected areas, dumped sewage, chemicals, food waste, gray water, oil and garbage into the sea.

Although the Cayman Islands government has been asked to justify working with a cruise partner with such a terrible environmental record, the premier recently dismissed these concerns as ridiculous and refused to answer.

But the concerns are very real.

Between July and October last year the company’s fleet made little progress towards compliance on the orders imposed by the court during the current five year probation period. While company executives tried to assure US District Judge Patricia Seitz that they were moving forward, she pressed Carnival’s chairman Micky Arison about what he is actually doing to clean up the company’s performance.

“I want to give you the necessary impetus to personally take charge and be committed,” Seitz told Arison, according to reports in the US media about the court proceedings. “I want you to become an environmentalist, I guess.”

Arison said the company had raised money to rebuild in the Bahamas post-Hurricane Dorian and in Australia as it suffers devastating bush fires.

But Carnival faces continued scrutiny over its shocking environmental violations after pleading guilty to dumping oily waste into the ocean and covering it up for years. But even after being fined tens of millions of dollars it continued to violate pollution laws, which brought down more fines and increased federal oversight.

None of this, however, appears to be having any real impact.

Although the hearing was focused on violations that were documented by court appointed officials in the summer, just last week the Carnival Elation cruise ship illegally dumped 5,900 gallons of untreated gray water into the ocean while docked at Port Canaveral.

Seitz was frustrated that the company has not set out goals to measure reductions in violations, as she warned every one could be grounds for the court to revoke the company’s probation and re-sentence. She told executives to stop trying to justify the violations based on the size of its operations.

“The ship keeps on moving and the environment and the people around are affected,” she said, noting that reducing environmental violations would require a change in the company’s culture.

The court heard that a survey conducted by an outside expert hired by the court and delivered to the company in August found a “pervasive lack of trust between workers, supervisors and managers”, with workers stating that the cruise line blames employees for making mistakes instead of finding the root cause of a violations.


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Category: Business, Crime, Marine Environment, Science & Nature, Tourism

Comments (64)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Obviously the only sensible thing to do is to dig up sensitive mangroves and run a large hose out to all the ships connected directly to the dump. That way all their waste can be placed directly at the dump and avoid any spilling in the sea. Then that waste should be placed as close as possible to the school where hundreds of young children can breathe the toxic air in deeply. Then once they all have cancer they can be treated at Shetty Hospital.

    Thank you Government for poisoning our children and seas.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Until every port that these garbage ships call to bans them when they don’t meet environmental standards, nothing is going to change.

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  3. iindie says:

    I wonder why Carnival among others are not facing steep penalties under MarPol … their vessel size surely qualifies them without any exception and it is not impossible to track tonnage of a vessel via sattellite observation access to such data is part of the tools available to all port of destination. The tools and texts are there but no one chose so far to enforce the existing conventions under the very naive pretense that the cruise line will upgrade their practices.

    https://www.everycrsreport.com/reports/RL32450.html

    It seems that fines and exclusion are the only sanctions that seem to somehow force the members of the CLIA into action. As for the port issue i don’t think that the Cruise lines present will amend their act accordingly and looking into the details of the deal might reveal that there might be little to no commitment as to the reduction of the pollution from their vessels.

  4. Anonymous says:

    We should fix the dump and ban planes as well. Oh wait …. not planes, I need to travel.

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  5. Ethan says:

    Until a government truly hits them in the wallet, there won’t be a change. Make it simple, CCL ships are prohibited from sailing in Alaskan waters for a period of 2,3,5 years. It makes the biggest impact affecting the fewest jobs and vacations.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    It just can’t get worse. This document has been affirmed by the Dept of Marine Resources Commissioner on Maine Calling, Maine Public Radio, Jan. 8 2020
    http://fisherynation.com/most-likely-carnival-cruise-lines-is-responsible-for-18-right-whale-deaths-in-the-past-3-year-at-which-rate-they-would-soon-be-extinct

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    • Anonymous says:

      How can we get this in front of Miami’s District Court Judge Patricia Seitz? She is presently hearing Carnival for violating their probation.
      She sounds sympathetic to our cause.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    What about the environmental issues that exist with the dump? It’s with you 24/7. If the powers to be don’t give a damn about that they sure not going to worry about the ships rolling in.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Everything in our world causes some type of environment issues! Just ban everything including us humans my goodness we are all polluted too! We all need to make some type of corrections somewhere. The funny thing is half the people with the negative comments probably have upcoming cruises with Carnival!

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Everybody dump yah junk, dump yah junk, dump yah junk all now
    Start to throw, start to throw, start to throw overboard now
    Drink cheap wine, drink cheap wine, drink cheap wine up now
    Because, it’s Carnival

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  10. Say it like it is says:

    I’m not sure which is worse, Carnival flaunting the law as it’s cheper to pay the fines than to stop polluting, or our Premier who dismisses these environmental concerns as “ridiculous”.

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    • Pat Allgood says:

      It doesnt surprise me that the premier isn’t into correcting these problems. My husband and I were there about 40 years ago and a gentleman invited us for a drink.
      His house sets right on that point curve on the side where ships dock. Every 30 minutes or so a ship would drift and blow black smoke onto his veranda and into the house. Very disheartening for him. He can’t sell the house and he knows why. He has petitioned the premier time and time again. Probably not the same person, same attitude.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Birds of a feather flock together.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    I would love to see the International community ban Carnival from the seas of the world! They are a shoddy, cut rate company that attracts guests who have little to spend when they come on shore!

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    • Mary says:

      Not everyone wants to purchase something. I do excursions on all my cruises but I don’t always want to purchase something.

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      • Anonymous says:

        You do excursions booked by the cruise company no doubt. Which in turn means even less money coming ashore. As the cruise companies take like 80%.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Booking Excursions through the Cruise Lines guarantees the Ships will wait if the Excursions runs late. Late returning if booked on shore, Ship leaves as scheduled, will not wait, does not have to.
          Costs more for the ‘Insurance’. Worth it to many Cruisers.

      • Anonymous says:

        Almost all of them are owned by the same corporation. Just google it.

    • Anonymous says:

      If they did you can bet CIG would try to cash in on it.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    Support the Port o potty

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  13. Anonymous says:

    Good point!

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  14. Anonymous says:

    No sheet Sherlock. They don’t care about anything but money.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    It can’t be that much worse than the tender diesel boats running back and forth all day making thousands of trips a week.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    “ shocking environmental violations ”

    Sounds good we should do business them and trust them with our environment!

    Eco Tourism please.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    It’s worth remembering that a photo of a Carnival ship belching black smoke like that on engine start up appeared on the front page of Net News back in 2007 – nothing much has changed has it?

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  18. Anonymous says:

    found a “pervasive lack of trust between workers, supervisors and managers”

    With consideration to the bigger picture it all makes sense now, – ‘Carnival Managers’ our Aldart & Mo$e$, and ‘the workers‘ us the people, – perfect symmetry to align a Cruise Port kinfolk model… VOTE NO

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  19. Anonymous says:

    Okay, well, what are our standards? Where ere are the regulations for activities in the Cayman Islands waters? I doubt they even exist.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The Cayman Islands has no standards for environmental violations for ships.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Or environmental standards period.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Yet, we are touted among the best Shipping Registry in the world. No standards for environmental violations for ships!!! What a ship of fools Cayman has become.

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        • Anonymous says:

          most of the ships registered in Cayman are not commercial vessels like Carnival cruise ships, they are super yachts etc. Most carnival, princess ships etc are registered in Bermuda.

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          • Anonymous says:

            Nope. Registered in Panama and Liberia. Who ever told you they were registered in Bermuda??? Do your homework instead of spreading falsehoods.

        • Anonymous says:

          Hahahahaha Touted among the best?? Says who? And for what? LMAO!

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes we do. We ratified International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL). This is the same international convention that the US is using to fine carnival and its the same one we can use.

        Stop spreading misinformation.

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        • Anonymous says:

          If only we enforced any laws here, we could fine them too!

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        • Anonymous says:

          There is zero capability in the Cayman Islands to enforce environmental violations.

          2:45, Tell it like it is and do not create false impressions.

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          • Anonymous says:

            We enforce the laws through port state inspections as we are required to under the CMOU. We have the power to detain ships and we have done so in the past. Just because you don’t understand how the laws are enforced doesn’t mean it’s not happening.

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        • Anonymous says:

          We do not enforce laws. Since we do not, we might as well proceed as if they do not exist. Accordingly we have not ratified MARIPOL. If we had, we would enforce it.

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      • Stanley Hill says:

        They dont even have a regulated port. Watersports all over the harbour.

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      • L.D. says:

        does that mean dump it here?

      • Anonymous says:

        MARPOL forms part of CI Law. No enforcement tho turn up

    • Anonymous says:

      We ratified International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL). This is the same international convention that the US is using to fine carnival and its the same one we can use.

      Our standards for pollution for ships are the same as every other maritime state in the world.

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      • Anonymous says:

        2:45 & 2:46 But do we enforce them? No we don’t and that’s the difference. CIG signs up to these conventions and accords but it’s just like someone bouncing a cheque, when they sign the thing they know the payee won’t get the money.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Yes we do. We conduct port state control inspections under the CMOU and have the power to detain ships who violate and of the conventions we are signatories to. We have used this power to detain ships in the past.

          • Anonymous says:

            When have we ever fined or detained a cruise ship, even though we knew it to be in breach of the regulations?

  20. Anonymous says:

    USA imposed Eviro and ADA fines are speeding tickets in the grand scheme. They are a quantum too small to represent any kind of credible deterrent, and they know it. There are videos online of crew deliberately dumping giant bins of shipborne trash into the ocean while under power…like it just goes away!

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  21. SKEPTICAL says:

    Of course the premier dismissed concerns about pollution generated by Carnival – he wouldn’t know his arse from his elbow in discussing these issues, and he certainly isn’t going to stop brown nosing a company he sees as a potential source of revenue – irrespective of how much that company damages our environment.

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  22. Anonymous says:

    Keep these nasty rascals away from our shores.

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  23. Anonymous says:

    Please just ban them from our waters. Of all the cruise lines, they are the one bringing the greatest number of mass market tourists to our shores, spending almost nothing and cluttering up our infrastructure for very little in return. Adding the environmental cost just emphasizes the point that they do more harm than good for us. We need to go and stay high end. Quality over quantity.

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  24. JTB says:

    And the Cayman Government refuses to answer any questions as to whether this company is a fit and proper partner for its cruise berth project.

    Move along. Nothing to see here.

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