Australia Takes Chinese Ship Owner to Court for Damages to its Barrier Reef

Tuesday / June 2, 2015

Copy of Australia-Takes-Chinese-Ship-Owner-to-Court-for-Damages-to-its-Barrier-ReefThe Commonwealth of Australia is filing case against the Chinese owner of the bulk carrier MV Shen Neng 1 over unpaid reimbursement from the ship’s 2010 grounding on the Great Barrier Reef and causing the worst such damage on record to a coral reef.

The Chinese registered Shen Neng 1 was loaded with coal when it ran aground on April 3, 2010 on Douglas Shoal, about 50 miles north of the entrance to the port of Gladstone which left toxic anti-fouling paint on reef, Marine Park Authority said.

The government is looking for damages in Federal Court to cover up costs, or an order forcing the ship owner to remediate the site, the authorities said.  According to Marine Park Authority the reef is a habitat to more than 1600 species of fish and it’s the largest living structure on the planet. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority says its first priority in remediating the shoal would be to attempt to remove the remaining anti-fouling paint and residue, which will allow some natural recovery in the area.

An ATSB investigation into the incident found that the accident happened because the fatigued chief mate did not alter the ship’s course at the designated course alteration position, and in consequence of that the ship ran straight into the reef several kilometers from the designated shipping lane. The ship’s hull was seriously damaged by the grounding, with the engine room and six water ballast and fuel oil tanks being breached.

SNM Events News Service
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