Saturday, May 03, 2008

Reward Informants of Bilge Oil Dumping Ships

Canada has longest coastline in the world - 243,000 km. Much daily sea traffic occurs off Atlantic Canada's shores, the home range to "roughly 40 million pelagic seabirds." Obviously the coastline is important because of wildlife and fish, not to mention it's beauty. Most appreciate it, some don't - like the latest alledged shipping bandit who is charged with dumping bilge oil off Newfoundland's coast. (Bilge oil is a mix of ballast water and oil from ship engines.)

Thankfully, a thoughtful and brave crew member handed over videotaped evidence to the authorities in Montreal where the ship, the MSC Trinidad, is being held. Third engineer Domingo Silva videotaped a pipe that bypassed the bilge tank so that its bilge oil could be dumped in the ocean. This guy and four others could very well lose their jobs. They should be rewarded though by our province or Canada, and a reward incentive ought to be offered to encourage others to report similar incidents. The reason ships dump their bilge is because it cuts down on costs of going to a seaport and legally unloading their bilge oil.

The risk for crew members for snitching on their slippery bosses is the threat of losing their jobs. If they will provide evidence of a ship dumping bilge oil, they should be compensated. If money talks, a monetary reward will encourage other ships crews to spill the beans as well.

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