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Successful prosecution for polluting Sullivans Cove

Ocean Fresh Fisheries Pty Ltd has been fined ,600 in the Hobart Magistrates Court for discharging fuel oil from a ship into State waters.

The company pleaded guilty to an offence under the Pollution of Waters by Oil and Noxious Substances Act 1987.

The offence occurred on 28 July 2005 when between 20 and 120 litres of fuel oil were lost into Sullivans Cove during refuelling of the vessel 'Petersen'.

The Director of Environmental Management, Warren Jones, said that the spill was reported to the Hobart Ports Authority, which then notified the Environment Division.

Absorbent booms were deployed to limit the spread of the oil and two vessels were used in the clean up operation.

Costs of ,095 were also awarded to the Crown for the costs incurred in responding to and cleaning up after the incident.

Mr Jones said that this was not the first time that there had been a spill during the refuelling of this particular vessel.

"Sullivans Cove is a particularly sensitive environment," he said.

"While it remains a working port, it is also the central feature of Hobart and an important tourist destination. No one wants to see it defaced by oil slicks.

"The operators of fishing vessels and other ships using the port must respect its importance to the community and take particular care to avoid even small discharges of pollutants."