Two Honolulu-based fishing companies will each have to pay civil penalties of more than USD 20,000 for discharging oily waste into the waters of Hawaii, the US Department of Justice and Coast Guard informed.
Specifically, Triple Dragon and Capt. Millions III, along with the company managers and vessel operators, have each agreed to implement operational improvements and other compliance measures and pay civil penalties to settle claims stemming from numerous discharges of oily bilge waste from the commercial fishing vessels.
In order to extend the length of the vessels’ fishing voyages, the defendants are believed to have routinely pumped a mixture of fuel oil, lubricating oils, water, and other fluids from the vessels’ engine room bilges into the Pacific Ocean rather than retain the waste on board.
By doing so, they have violated Clean Water Act, including the Coast Guard’s spill prevention and pollution control regulations.
“Law-abiding vessel owners and operators know the importance of complying with our Nation’s environmental laws. Members of the fishing fleet who disregard those laws put the public’s health and our Nation’s natural resources in jeopardy,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey H. Wood for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, said.
“All vessels, including commercial fishing vessels like these, must comply with the long-standing Clean Water Act environmental protection requirements as part of their normal operations. As a steward of the marine environment, the Coast Guard will not tolerate illegal dumping of oily waste into the ocean,” Rear Adm. Brian Penoyer, Commander, Coast Guard 14th District, commented.
“Those who pollute the ocean should know that we will continue to vigorously pursue and prosecute these types of violations to the fullest extent of the law,” United States Attorney for the District of Hawaii Kenji M. Price, noted.