- Owners of Rena Plead Guilty in New Zealand Court
- Monument For Military Divers Unveiled in Florida
- Australia Struggles to Enforce Bloody Bait Ban on Public Beaches
Just over a year after the Greek-owned cargo vessel Rena ran aground on New Zealand’s Astrolabe Reef and spilled more than 2,000 barrels of oil, Daina Shipping Co. has entered a guilty plea to the New Zealand courts, resulting in a fine of $300,000. The removal process for the Rena is still ongoing; salvage operations have met with turbulent weather and ocean conditions over the last year that have made their efforts dangerous and difficult. The captain and another crew member of the Rena were both convicted of wrongdoing for their role in the crash and their subsequent efforts to conceal information about the cause. A settlement of $22.8 million dollars for damages incurred by the wreck has been reached between Daina Shipping Co. and Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand.
A bronze monument of a diver in military SCUBA gear, also known as a Mark V suit, was erected on Friday at the US Navy Diving and Salvage Training Center in Panama City, Florida. The 11-foot tall monument stands atop a 2-foot pentagonal base, each side of which bears a plaque representing a branch of the military. The monument is in recognition of all the Navy divers who trained with the Center in Florida, and the role the iconic Mark V helmet and suit have played in the service of Navy divers all over the world.
Three fatal shark attacks within the space of two months off the coast of Perth in 2011 prompted the Australian Fisheries Minister to declare a ban on using blood and offal of fish as bait to catch sharks on public swimming beaches in the region of Cottesloe, but the agency has met with tremendous difficulty in enforcement of the ban. The director of the Department of Fisheries cited trouble differentiating the legality of those using offal to fish for sharks, and those using it to catch other non-threatening species, like tailor and herring as the reason for no firm action having been taken to quell further attacks. Acoustic pingers that alert officials of the presence of tagged great white sharks recorded a high level of activity last week and over the weekend, causing the issue to resurface in the community.