Finistère, France

25/05/09

Maritime Pollution of 22 KM long and 200M wide by a Liberian ship, The Matterhorn 

SUMMARY OF THE SITUATION

On the 25th of May 2009, the Matterhorn, a cargo ship under the Liberian flag, was caught by a customs plane trailing a 200m wide oil pollution over a length of 22km, which corresponds to a spill lasting about 45 minutes, close to Ushant island, at 80km off the French coast.


THE DEFENDERS

Surfrider acted as the civil plaintiff alongside several other environmental associations.


LEGAL CONTEXT

In March 2010, the tribunal of Brest imposed a fine of one million Euros on the captain of the Matterhorn, 90% of which was to be settled by the Greek shipowner, the company Eastwind Transport Ellas.

The tribunal took place in absence of the defendants, and for good reason, as the conglomerate which the Greek company belonged to had declared itself bankrupt after the vessel had been rerouted, abandoning both cargo and crew. Five months later, the ship was seized and the crew were repatriated to their countries of origin.

The defendants appealed, but their sentence was confirmed in January 2013.

more on the theme

Water quality
and Health

Waste from agricultural areas, urban areas, even sewage: many sources of pollution threaten the quality of our coastal waters.

learn more

our values

PASSION

The passion for the oceans, the coastline and the pleasures animate everyone who supports Surfrider and guides the organization's action.

SHARING

Surfrider is rooted in the value of sharing and participation through inclusion and diversity.

RESPECT

Surfrider seeks a harmonious relationship between humans and nature.