Two shipping companies and their masters have been prosecuted by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) for two separate marine pollution incidents within the Great Barrier Reef.

Perses Maritima Ltd, a Tokyo-based company and the ship captain of its Japanese flagged vehicle carrier Asteria Leader, were found guilty on one charge each of illegally discharging garbage. Тhe sentence has been pronounced on May 18 in the Brisbane Magistrates Court, under the Protection of the Sea (Prevention of Pollution from Ships) Act 1983.

A discharge of 0.03 m3 of food waste within the Great Barrier Reef was recorded on October 8, 2014. The pollution discharge was found after a routine Port State Control inspection, conducted by an AMSA marine surveyor at Fisherman Island in the Port of Brisbane.

For the illegal discharge Japanese Perses Maritima Ltd was fined $5,000. The Asteria Leader master was fined $5,00.

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The other company that violated the law was the Hong Kong based Seaspan Corporation, together with the master of its Hong Kong registered container ship CSCL Brisbane.

They were found guilty of illegally discharging garbage within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park on August 6, 2015.

The illegal discharge was also discovered during a routine PSC inspection by an AMSA marine survey at Fisherman Island.

Furthermore during the inspection has been found that the ship’s passage plan did not take into account the required marine environmental protection measures, such as the safety of navigation requirements prescribed by the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) international convention.

The Chinese Seaspan Corporation was fined $6,000 for the illegal discharge and the ship master was fined $600.

Mick Kinley, the AMSA Chief Executive Officer Mick said it was disappointing to see shipping companies, which do not comply with the rules for protection of sensitive marine areas like the Great Barrier Reef.

Mr. Kinley additionally commented that the illegal discharges found after the AMSA inspections have just showed that Australia’s PSC regime was both rigorous and effective.

“Australia has a robust PSC regime, which is designed to ensure ship owners and their masters are adhering to the rules and regulations to prevent marine areas from being polluted. These prosecutions highlight to the shipping community if they flout the regulations they can be caught and subsequently prosecuted,” he said.