Two vessels have been fined a whopping MVR 100 million for damaging the reef alongside Fushidhiggaru in Kaafu atoll, a statement from the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) revealed Sunday.
A tugboat named ‘Muthaa Royal’ and a barge named “Muthaa Grace” had damaged the reef after running aground it in December 2015. The vessels were not recovered from the site until March 2016.
The two foreign vessels, registered with the local agent Mainland Shipping Pvt. Ltd., were fined under the Environmental Protection and Preservation Act after the EPA surveyed the damages caused to the massive reef in the capital atoll.
Approximately 4,370 square meters of the reef was damaged, and the estimated cost of damage is around MVR 110 million, EPA’s statement said.
However, according to the environment protection laws, the maximum fine that can be levied for environmental damages is MVR 100 million – which is why the agency was unable to fine the true cost of damage.
Mainland Shipping Pvt. Ltd. has been given 30 days from March 14 to pay the hefty fine.