Carnival Cruises has been issued a $20 million fine for dumping rubbish into the ocean.
It’s all fun and games for those on board a Carnival Cruise ship; the company are always keen to give their guests a good time, but apparently the good-natured courtesy doesn’t extend to those forced to host the boat – aka the marine life underneath.
Carnival Corp, the world’s largest cruise line, reached the $20 million settlement on Monday (June 3) after pleading guilty to polluting the oceans despite a previous criminal conviction.
In 2016, the company was convicted of discharging oily waste from its Princess Cruise Lines ships and covering it up. It paid a $40 million fine and was placed on probation for five years.
On Monday, Carnival CEO Arnold Donald stood up in open court and admitted the company’s responsibility for violating its probation.
According to USA Today, he said:
The company pleads guilty. We acknowledge the shortcomings. I am here today to formulate a plan to fix them.
Senior US District Judge Patricia Seitz responded:
The proof will be in the pudding, won’t it? If you all did not have the environment, you would have nothing to sell.
Carnival Corp. acknowledged its ships have committed multiple environmental crimes, one of which was dumping ‘gray water’ in prohibited places, such as Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park.
The company also knowingly allowed plastic to be discharged along with food waste in the Bahamas, which, evidenced in the amount of animals being found with plastic in their stomach, poses a severe threat to marine life.
It admitted to falsifying compliance documents and having cleanup teams visit its ships just before scheduled inspections.
As part of the settlement Carnival promised additional audits to check for violations, as well as a restructuring of the company’s compliance and training programmes, a better system for reporting environmental violations to state and federal agencies, and improved waste management practices.
The company has deadlines of September 13 and October 9 to create an improved compliance plan, and will be charged a fee of $1 million for each day the deadline is not met. If a second round of deadlines aren’t met, the fines could go up to $10 million a day.
Proposed changes include the reduction of single-use plastic across the company’s entire fleet of ships and the creation of teams to make improvements in the ships’ food and beverage systems and how waste is handled at sea, Business Insider report.
As Judge Seitz so rightly pointed out, the company wouldn’t have got anywhere if it weren’t for the oceans. It should treat them with the respect they deserve.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.