VANCOUVER, April 24, 2015 /CNW/ - The MV Marathassa has been granted permission by Transport Canada to return to its operations and leave Canadian waters. Transport Canada officials have conducted a final inspection of the vessel and determined that all safety deficiencies have been rectified. They are confident that the vessel is in compliance with Transport Canada regulations and is environmentally safe for voyage.
Although the vessel has been cleared to leave Canadian waters, Transport Canada is continuing its thorough investigation into the MV Marathassa's fuel discharge. If there is sufficient evidence that there is contravention of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001, the polluter may be prosecuted in court or administrative monetary penalties – fines – may be imposed.
Pollution recovery operations related to the MV Marathassa are slowly winding down, with assets such as the wildlife rehabilitation team being demobilized as the need for their services comes to a close. The Canadian Coast Guard is also continuing its assessment of the spill and will determine its costs associated with the incident and will assist its partners in Unified Command through the claims process if necessary. Canada's marine liability and compensation regime ensures that the polluter pays for an oil spill cleanup, including third party damages. This means that if a ship causes a spill, its owner is liable for all eligible losses and damages.
The operators of the MV Marathassa have undertaken to pay for the clean-up and to appear in any future legal proceedings or prosecutions that could lead to potential fines being levied against them. In terms of covering the cost of the clean-up, the Marine Liability Act requires vessels to have insurance to cover pollution damage arising from a spill, and in the unlikely event that eligible losses and damages are not covered by the polluter, they may be covered from Canada's Ship Source Oil Pollution Fund. With respect to any potential fines, Transport Canada has a variety of tools available to collect such fines.
Transport Canada's National Aerial Surveillance Program will conduct regular flyovers of the MV Marathassa as it departs Canadian waters.
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SOURCE Transport Canada
For further information: Media Relations, Transport Canada, Ottawa, 613-993-0055