Cargo Ship Fined for Marine Pollution in Haifa

A Panamanian-flagged general ship anchored at the Port of Haifa has been fined NIS 6,000 (approximately USD 1,580) after its wastewater sanitation system discharged effluents into the sea, Israel’s Ministry of Environmental Protection said.

The Marine Environment Protection Division of the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MoEP) received a report about the illegal discharge from the Israel Ports Company on March 22, 2016 involving the 2011-built named Billesborg.

​MoEP inspectors question the ship’s captain and inspected the vessel. They discovered that the sanitation system, which includes measures for biological treatment, does not have a storage tank. Thus, the system automatically pumps sewage into the sea as soon as the small tank – which holds less than one cubic meter of wastewater – fills up; the ship’s crew has no control over the discharge.

The MoEP says sewage was discharged into the sea at least six times, while the ship was anchored in Haifa.

The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) allows for the discharged of treated wastewater into the sea, but states that the ship must be several miles from land.

The ship was fined NIS 6,000 for violating the Prevention of Marine Pollution Law.