“Whilst the ships named are not Bahamas flagged, the allegations, if found, would be considered serious violations of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships 1973/1978 (MARPOL) to which The Bahamas is party,” Wells said.
“As the port and coastal state in which the violations may have occurred, The Bahamas will investigate and take measures as appropriate.”
According to a report from a United States court-appointed monitor, several Carnival Corporation cruise ships discharged nearly 500,000 gallons of treated sewage, which it referred to as “black water”, into Bahamian waters in 2017.
Over 450,000 gallons were discharged in The Bahamas in June of that year alone.
“The government has asked the Port Department and the Bahamas Maritime Authority to engage with Carnival and other relevant parties to conduct the investigation in these allegations,” Wells said.
“Contact has already been made with Carnival, who is cooperating fully with The Bahamas and has pledged full transparency in the investigation into the circumstances of this matter.”
Wells added that any recommendation arising from the investigation will be implemented to ensure that such incidents do not happen again.
The U.S. report, which was made public last week, comes more than two years after Carnival Corporation pleaded guilty to numerous charges stemming from illegally dumping oily bilge water into the ocean between 2005 and 2013, and its systematic coverup of the illegal actions.
The company was fined $40 million by a U.S. court and put on a five-year probation, the conditions of which included the development and implementation of an environmental compliance plan (ECP).
U.S. District Judge Patricia Seitz appointed Steven Solow to monitor Carnival Corporation during its probation.
Solow revealed the violations in his first annual report.
In a recent statement sent to The Guardian, Carnival Corporation assured its commitment to addressing the issues highlighted in the report.
“These issues were unacceptable failures in our processes that were not in accordance with our policies and procedures, and do not reflect the culture we have built at Carnival Corporation and across our nine cruise line brands,” it said.
Education: Benedict College, BA in Mass Communications