Israel to Fine Ashdod Port for Mediterranean Sea Pollution

One of Israel’s main cargo ports, the port of Ashdod, is about to be sanctioned financially in the amount of NIS 2.7 million (USD 693.6 thousand) for polluting the Mediterranean Sea, according to the country’s Ministry of Environmental Protection (MoEP).

The sanctioning has been imposed as it has been determined that the port’s staff has unloaded ships improperly and contrary to MoEP instructions, causing particles of sulfur, a hazardous material, to spill into the sea and to flow along the harbor toward nearby fish cages.

​MoEP inspectors discovered the pollution in July 2015, when they saw a large sulfur stain that had spread from a ship that was anchored.

“The inspectors found that the sulfur spill was the result of sulfur being unloaded in an unsafe manner by the port’s staff, a manner that went against the conditions detailed in Ashdod Port’s permit to discharge materials into the sea.

“In fact, staff members continued to improperly discharge the sulfur even after the stain began to accumulate, and after they saw an MoEP vehicle in the area,” the ministry said.

The port’s staff ceased their actions after an an order to cease such operations was imposed by the inspectors.

MoEP added that the port will be fined in accordance with the 1983 Prevention of Sea Pollution Law (Dumping of Waste).