Marseilles: Master in Court on Pollution Charges

Thursday July 12, 2018

The captain of a cruise liner is facing a French court on charges of breaking emissions regulations.

The Azura cruise ship was found to have broken the permitted sulfur limit for burning bunker fuel in the Mediterranean port in March, according to reports in the UK media.

The ship's master is not named but could serve up to a year in prison and a substantial fine if found guilty by the Marseilles court.

The question of pollution from ships is becoming increasingly fractious in Mediterranean ports. A May conference, sponsored by the French government, signalled a move towards making the Mediterranean sea region an emissions control area (ECA).

In an ECA, ships are limited to using bunker fuel capped at 0.1% sulfur. From 2020, a 0.5% sulfur cap rule will apply to the global fleet.