Finistère, France

16/11/10

On the 16th of November 2010, a customs airplane spotted two hydrocarbon layers of 6km in length and around one hundred meters in width, in the wake of the Tian Du Feng, a bulk freighter sailing under Hong Kong flag. The vessel was located at 50 nautical miles southwest of Ushant Island when it was caught red handed causing maritime pollution.

Surfrider acted as the civil plaintiff during the proceedings which took place on the 23rd of June 2011.  Supported by the SFE Finistere Chapter, Surfrider volunteers demonstrated before the tribunal in Brest when proceedings began, to show their discontentment with the behaviour of the polluters. On the 20th of September 2011, the criminal court in Brest pronounced the verdict and acquitted both the ship's captain and its owner. Apparently, there was a lack of evidence proving that the observed layer consisted of hydrocarbons, despite affirmations by the customs expert during the process that this was the case. The association appealed against this decision on the 13th of June 2013 to ensure that the 'polluter pays' principle is being upheld. The new verdict is expected very soon.

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Coastal Development
and Climate Change

Coastal erosion, rising water levels, maritime transport, offshore platforms: the health of our coasts and oceans is permanently under threat.

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