After an investigation of ballast water discharge violations, the US Coast Guard initiated civil penalty proceedings against Vega Reederei GmbH & Co. KG, the operator of the bulk carrier Vega Mars on February 2.
While the vessel was moored in Tacoma around January 29, 2017, it discharged ballast water without the use of a Coast Guard approved ballast water management system or other approved means, according to the investigators. Such action is in violation with the National Invasive Species Act, with a maximum penalty of USD 38,175.
Initial violations were found by Port State Control examiners while they were aboard the 580-foot Liberian-flagged bulker to verify it met US laws, regulations and applicable international conventions.
Vessels equipped with ballast water tanks that operate in the waters of the United States must employ an approved ballast water management method to prevent the unintentional introduction and spread of aquatic nuisance species, the USCG said.