The master and owners of Hong Kong-flagged bulk carrier Hope Star have been fined and had criminal convictions recorded by an Australian court following the illegal dumping of garbage in the Great Barrier Reef.
The vessel’s owners Hope Star Shipping Company Ltd were fined $5000 and the Chinese master was fined $300 after food waste was discharged 210km north east of Gladstone on 29 June 2012.
During a routine port State control inspection on 6 July 2012 at Gladstone Port, Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) surveyors identified the position recorded for the vessel’s garbage disposal to be within the Great Barrier Reef and prohibited by the “nearest land”
provisions of MARPOL.
The incident was in breach of Protection of the Sea (Prevention of Pollution from Ships) Act 1983.
In handing down the sentence, the magistrate acknowledged the significance of the world heritage listed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and the impact such actions can have on the marine life.