2 Dec 2003

Fishing vessel avoids pollution charges in Cook Islands

3:33 pm on 2 December 2003

The skipper of the fishing boat, FV Ariel, anchored at a new wharf extension in the Cook Islands has escaped prosecution for allegedly polluting the area with exhaust soot and oil.

Environment Officer, Tu Tangi, told the Cook Islands News the vessel had been accused of polluting the area in the past, but prosecution has been ruled out because it was the first time the matter was reported.

However Mr Tangi says his office will send an official warning to the ship's crew to make things right.

He says the owner of the vessel is responsible to clean all nearby vessels dirtied by the soot still floating on the water at Avatiu Harbour.

The Harbourmaster, John Falloon, says he has told the FV Ariel's owners to clean their generator and sail out into the main harbour.