The MCA are prosecuting shipping found discharging litter at sea. In a recent hearing, MV Lotta Kosan was fined £10,000

At a hearing held in Southampton yesterday, the Magistrate’s Court heard how the crew of MV Lotta Kosan were witnessed dumping a large plastic rubbish bag overboard whilst at anchor in the western Solent last September. Lauritzen Fleet Management A/S and Lauritzen Kosan A/S pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 14(2)(a) of the Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Pollution by Garbage) Regulations 1998, stating that the offence was carried out by a cadet who has since been dismissed for not following company procedures. Lauritzen Group were fined &pound10,000 and ordered to pay &pound5,258 costs to the MCA.

The Court heard evidence from the Marine Conservation Society and from the MCA regarding the damage done to wildlife and the environment by littering at sea. The MCS showed photographs of dead whales and turtles that have suffered fatal injuries from drifting plastic bags. Brian Elliott, Environmental Quality Specialist for the MCA, said:

“The dumping of garbage by ships can have a significant detrimental effect on the unique environments and amenity value of our coastline. It can also threaten the safety of marine users as debris can cause increased propeller fouling and intake blockages. The MCA are presently working to ensure that all ports in the UK provide adequate facilities for garbage disposal, so there is no need to dump litter at sea. The MCA will continue to take seriously any littering incident from shipping that comes to its attention.”