Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM) has pleaded guilty in a federal court in Hawaii to one count of maintaining false and incomplete records relating to the discharge of bilge waste from the tanker Topaz Express, a felony violation of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships.
The plea comes after the vessel’s chief engineer and second engineer pled guilty to their involvement in the offence.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, BSM will pay a total fine of $1.75m and serve a four-year term of probation.
Additionally, BSM must implement a robust environmental compliance plan, which applies to all 38 vessels operated by the company that call on US ports.
“Prosecutions like this one are important because, by holding companies accountable for the harm they cause to the ocean’s ecosystem, we do our part to protect the planet and its finite resources. In Hawaii, we are surrounded by the beauty of the Pacific Ocean, and companies that intentionally damage the ocean’s ecosystem must be held accountable for their criminal conduct,” said US attorney Kenji Price.