Pollution: Solomon Islands says it is pursuing compensation from bulk carrier owners

The government of the Solomon Islands has said that it will be pursuing compensation from the owners of a bulker that the Islands allege discharged fuel oil into Graciosa Bay, a natural harbour at the island of Nendo.

Solomon Islands Maritime Authority (SIMA) head Thierry Nervale accused the crew of the bulk carrier Quebec (IMO 9044425) of deliberately discharging “about 1,000 tons of heavy fuel oil.” He added that “for us, it is clear that this is deliberate pollution of our seas. It’s not accidental. What we have found out is the boat has mismanagement in terms of their systems and most probably their system has always been in the position to pollute the sea”.

Nervale further stated that “all committed offences have been indicated and the master of the ship will be charged according to our laws.”

Nervale said that the spill began when the Quebec arrived in Graciosa Bay to pick up a load of logs on January 20th. The pollution had impacted about 1km of shoreline, with as much as 1,000 tons of spillage, he claimed.

Some two weeks after the casualty the Solomon Islands government dispatched a disaster assessment team to Nendo to investigate the spill.

Though the incident allegedly occurred one month ago, the vessel is still within SIMA’s jurisdictional reach: tracking provided by Pole Star shows that the Quebec is currently anchored off Makira (San Cristobal), an island in the Solomons to the southeast of Guadalcanal. No details from Marine Traffic since December 22nd last year, when it was a short way east of the Singapore Strait.

The 1991-built Quebec is a 30,000 dwt bulker owned and operated in Singapore.

1991-built, Panama-flagged, 16,722 gt Quebec is owned by Quebec Shipping Co Ltd care of Feng Sea Shipping Pte Ltd of Singapore. It is recorded as entered with North of England on behalf of Feng Sea Shipping Pte Ltd.