SA's Operation Phakisa strikes in murky waters

The More Sodruzhestva, a Ukraine-registered fishing vessel.

The More Sodruzhestva, a Ukraine-registered fishing vessel.

Published Dec 18, 2018


Durban - South Africa’s Operation Phakisa has shown its teeth after the South African Maritime Safety Authority (Samsa) and other authorities brought about a successful prosecution of the master and owners of a Ukraine-registered fishing vessel.

The More Sodruzhestva was caught in the act of discharging sewage into South African coastal waters.

The 6394-gt More Sodruzhestva is owned and managed by a Cypriot firm.

This is a first for this country and resulted in a fine of R300000 or two years in prison for the ship’s master, of which half was suspended for five years subject to the accused not being convicted of something similar.

On top of that, Samsa raised other associated charges against the master and the owners that resulted in penalties totalling R1.7 million for failing to comply with domestic legislation that relates to South Africa being a signatory of the Marpol convention, a protocol of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships.

The case arose out of South Africa’s involvement for the first time in a global law enforcement operation known as “30 Days at Sea” during which 359 ship inspections were undertaken in South African ports and coastal waters.

A number of violations were detected, for which action was taken.

The programme was led by Interpol globally.

Interpol co-ordinated matters through its 122 national co-ordinators including environmental, fisheries, maritime and border agencies, national police, customs and port authorities.

The operation was conducted throughout October, during which 27 ships were identified for focused Marpol inspections.

The Mercury

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