Chinese ship fined for marine pollution in Tahiti

2:38 pm on 29 January 2020

French Polynesia's criminal court has fined a Chinese fishing company $US360,000 for marine pollution.

The Xin Shi Ji 203

The Xin Shi Ji 203 Photo: Facebook/ Polynésie Libre : Fa'ati'amā Pōrīnetia

Last May, the fishing vessel Xin Shi Ji 203 discharged hundreds of litres of liquids, including fuel, just off Tahiti.

Its captain was fined $US3000.

The boat was intercepted after airline pilots spotted a slick emanating from it.

At the trial earlier this month, the defence said the crew pumped the liquid into the sea as emergency solution of a technical problem to save the ship, which carried 100 tonnes of fuel.

However, the authorities said the captain never signalled any problems and showed no sign of planning to return to port.

At the trial, the defence also questioned the court's right to deal with the case, arguing the trial should have been held in China.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs