Fines have been imposed on 16 shipowners over the last 10 years for pollution caused by oil, illegal discharge of sewage and illegal cleaning of vessels without obtaining approval from the Cyprus Ports Authority (CPA), it emerged on Monday.

In at least two cases the ships caused extensive pollution, according to a Transport Minister Alexis Vafeades in an official response to a written question from MP Charalambos Theopemptou regarding the controls carried out by the authorities and the management of ship waste.

The minister did not specify the amount that was dished out in fines but the document said 11 of the incidents concerned Limassol port, one the port of Vasiliko and four in Larnaca.

Vafeades also clarified that the CPA did not have jurisdiction over marinas where a large number of pleasure boats are docked.

Based on the Marpol Convention, when a ship arrives at a port, it must deliver its waste to an area specially designated for this purpose.

Ports are therefore required facilities for ships liquid and solid waste. The facilities should be sufficient to meet the needs of the ships using them, without causing undue delay and to prevent pollution of ports and the marine environment in general.

In Cyprus, a company has been licensed for the collection of such waste.

The minister said that within 2023 several inspections had been carried out by the CPA in all port areas and several had been carried out in collaboration with officials from the department of fisheries and the deputy ministry of shipping.

Regular inspections are carried out on vessels that remain at anchor for long periods of time, those offering services in sea port areas and boats operating coastal cruises.