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  • Writer's pictureStephan Busch

Will Carnivals criminal pollution go unpunished? Clean Oceans are of no concern for rich companies!

Carnivals criminal ocean pollution

The criminal pollution of ocean waters by Carnival is at least now in the courts. If it will hurt carnival has to be seen as a fine alone wont stop a company with billions in profits each year. The total lack of Corporate social responsibility is shocking. Here are just the bullet points as of May 2019. Money helps to keep it out of media as much as possible and also the annual donations of millions of dollars to US politicians every year support wide spread organized pollutions of the oceans.

The Government now states that the discharges were intentional in nature and believes that Carnival Corp.’s problems remain “ongoing” and “systemic” in nature.

In December 2016, the Princess Cruise Lines, a subsidiary of a Carnival Corporation, pled guilty to seven felony counts related to vessel pollution and efforts to conceal that pollution, one count of conspiracy, four counts of failure to maintain accurate records and two counts of obstruction of justice.

Background of Pollution Violations

After Princess pled guilty in December of 2016 to serious, widespread and long-term pollution crimes, as well as conspiracy and obstruction of justice, the Court ordered Princess and all Carnival Corp. owned and/or operated cruise ships sailing in the United States to comply with an Environmental Compliance Plan (“ECP”), undergo audits, and be subject to supervision by the CAM.

Reports Suggest Carnival Ships Systematically Discharged Plastic Waste.

The CAM’s last quarterly report (dated April 2019), which was filed into the public record today, provides details of the discharge of plastic waste from several cruise ships operated by Carnival Cruise Line, among other issues. The government stated that Carnival Corp. “repeatedly” engaged in prohibited discharges, including the “knowing” illegal discharge of food contaminated with plastic waste and other non-food items.

The CAM explained that discharge of food waste contaminated with plastics and other non-food items is a violation of MARPOL which generally prohibits the discharge of all garbage, including all plastics, into the sea.

  • Sea Princess(Dec. 19, 2017) – “it was witnessed that the Food Waste Chute had several unauthorized items in the food waste that is going down the chute and overboard, items such as plastic straws, corn on the cob holders, wooden stir sticks, plastic tea bag packages, and plastic knives, plastic straws, paper, wood stir sticks and rubber bands in the pulpers.”

  • Ruby Princess(Feb. 15, 2018) – “auditor witnessed 55-gallon containers held several unauthorized items destined to go down the waste chute and overboard. These items were plastic straws, plastic corn on the cob holders, wooden stir sticks, toothpicks, wooden steak identifiers, paper, paper clips and aluminum foil wrappers.

  • Carnival Dream (Aug. 24, 2018) – “in the marshaling area of the garbage handling space, it was found that items such as but not limited to where mixed in the garbage: aluminum bottle caps, broken plastic cups, cotton swabs (Q‐tips), emery cloth, plastic straws, napkins, paper and umbrellas for drinks.”

The CAM concluded that:

“. . . the largest compliance challenge facing the Company comes not from the compliance issues on the ships, but from the actions, and failures to act, at the Company’s highest levels of management—the most obvious manifestation of which is the now years-long failure to comply with the condition of probation

  • The Carnival Corp. owned Westerdam, operated by Holland America Line, illegally dumped 26,000 gallons of gray water into Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska in September of 2018 and thereafter failed to immediately report the discharge;

  • “Between June 4-27, 2017, the Carnival Elation discharged approximately 1,270 of treated sewage and 22 cubic meters of food waste and plastic in Bahamian Archipelagic waters in violation of MARPOL . . . “

  • “. . . on June 15, 2017, the Carnival Conquest, Carnival Liberty, Carnival Magic, and Carnival Vista made prohibited discharges of sewage and food waste and plastics in Bahamian Archipelagic waters.”

  • “. . . on November 27, 2017, the Carnival Vista discharged cleaning chemicals in Bahamian Archipelagic waters . . .”

  • In July of 2017, the Carnival Pride dumped 15 pounds of food waste into Half Moon Cay;

  • In November 2018 the Carnival Conquest unlawfully discharged approximately 66,000 gallons of ballast water in the waters of the Bahamas.

Considering that Carnival Corp. collected profits of $3,200,000,000 last year, a fine of 40 million dollars is only 0.0125 of its enormous profits in 2018. As the Tribune newspaper wrote yesterday, “the only thing these cruise giants care about is the profits they generate. Carnival is no different . . .”

Of those who decided that no sanctions were appropriate, many commented that “all cruise lines pollute, but only Carnival got caught.” The most popular comment for those not wanting Carnival to be sanctioned is “Carnival will simply pass along to the customer any monetary fines with the result that cruising will become more expensive.”

A new resort as a gift

Carnival is reportedly leasing 329 acres of Bahamian land in an area known as Sharp Rock in East Grand Bahama, which the newspaper describes as an “eco-sensitive zone.” The Tribune writes that Carnival executive Giora Israel (Carnival Corp.’s Senior Vice President of Global Port & Destination Development) said the company is allegedly “big on protecting the environment.”

However, Carnival reportedly took no remedial measures and subsequently discharged the waste with the knowledge that it contained plastic waste. (This is undisputed by Carnival).

The majority of the Carnival owned ship such as the Carnival Elationand the Carnival Conquestmentioned above are registered in Panama, so that Carnival can avoid U.S. taxes, labor laws and safety regulations.

Sam Duncombe, president of reEarth environmental group, said yesterday: “Carnival has been caught. What about the ships that have not been caught? Who is out there watching what goes on?

Main Sources: Jim Walker, Cruise Law News, Tribune 2019

Author: Stephan Busch, Academic Director at the State University for the Humanities Moscow RGGU, Faculty of Tourism & Hospitality earned his Master Certificate in Hospitality Management from Cornell University, USA.

Stephan Busch has an invaluable and diverse experience in launching operations, business development and service training- for hotel and cruise companies in Asia, Europe, Canada and Russia.,

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