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US Navy in deep water after ship hits World Heritage reef in Philippines

23/01/2013 17:03:15
whales/Marine/Tubbataha_Sea_Fan_by_Toppx2

Tubbataha Reef is considered to be one of the 10 best dive sites in the world

USS Guardian runs aground on Tubbataha Reef
January 2013. The Philippines authorities will fine the US Navy heavily after a minesweeper, USS Guardian, ran aground on a reef in a World Heritage site, Tubbatha Reef, which is rated in the top 10 dive sites in the world.

The Tubbataha Protected Area Management Board (TPAMB) has announced that it will fine the US navy for several violations of its rules, including damaging the reef. Their statement reads:

"TPAMB has a mandate to protect, preserve and promote the resources of Tubbataha Reef. In order to fulfill that mandate and uphold the rule of law, it is the TPAMB's intention to serve the US Navy with a formal notice listing violations of the above law in the grounding incident of January 17 involving the USS Guardian.
We will ask them to take responsibility, and immediately pay the fines that can be estimated at this time.

The violations that are evident at this time, include the following:
  • Section 19- UNAUTHORIZED ENTRY
  • Section 21 - NON-PAYMENT OF CONSERVATION FEE
  • Section 30 - OBSTRUCTION OF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
  • Section 20 - DAMAGES TO THE REEF
  • Section 26G - DESTROYING RESOURCES

Subsequent to ship retrieval / and the assessment of Park damage, the TPAMB intends to serve a second formal notice of violation to the US Navy, that will quantify the estimate of destruction and the fines that must be paid."

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