(CMR) Despite Carnival Cruiselines promising the Cayman people that they value the environment over profits they are being accused of continued probation violations for ongoing environmental infractions and face “scrutiny unprecedented in the history of the cruise industry.” Carnival Corporation's chairman appeared in federal court on Wednesday, January 9 to explain why the court-appointed monitor found continued violations from July – October 2019. A judge warned that they could have their probation revoked and re-sentence the company if its track record does not improve.
The company is almost halfway through its 2017 probation after it pleaded guilty to multiple felonies of dumping waste in the ocean and attempting to cover it up for some eight years. However, that did not stop the cruise line from further infractions and a $20 million fine in June of last year. The latest court appearance demonstrates that little progress has been made and infractions continue to mount. US District Judge Patricia Seitz was not impressed that despite hiring staff in its ethics and compliance office the infractions continue and “little progress” has been made.
The violations include burning unfiltered heavy oil in protected areas and dumping gray matter, sewage, chemicals, food waste, and oil into the ocean. Just last week it was reported that Carnival Elation at dumped over 5,900 gallons of untreated gray matter while docked at Port Canaveral. Carnival said it was a mistake and Florida's Department of Environmental Protection will not be penalizing them from that infraction.
The judge shared that an overall shift in corporate culture was needed to address the underlying issues. Carnival is the world's largest cruise company with nine brands and a fleet of 26 ships. They are headquartered in Doral, Florida. They are set to launch four new ships in 2020.
Carnival Corporation is one of the four entities that comprise Verdant Isle Port Partners and have been named as the preferred bidder for the Cayman Islands cruise berthing and cargo enhancement project. The CPR people initiated referendum to decide the fate of the project has been delayed after CPR Cayman and The National Trust both filed judicial review applications.