The operator of the Panamanian flag vessel Mv Navios Amaryllis, which ran aground at K.Rasfari Reef, has paid a $10 million penalty for the reef’s damage. After paying a $10 million fine, the Navios Amaryllis was granted permission to sail.
In addition to the fine, the total loss to the reef and the government as a result of the incident is 893 million Maldivian Rufiyaa. However, the maximum penalties under the legislation are 100 million Rufiyaa, and the EPA warned the vessel operator that the sum must be settled in order for the vessel to be cleared. Following that, the vessel operator filed an appeal with the Ministry of Environment.
The payment was paid in lieu of a penalty imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The dismissal of the lawsuit, however, was challenged at the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, and Technology. The minister concluded the appeal by noting that there is no logical cause to reconsider the EPA’s judgment.
The Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Transport, and the vessel Operator met to discuss the subject in order to settle and reduce the claim amount penalized in order to recoup the damages made to the K.Rasfari Reef as stated by the Ministry of Environment. The $10 million (154.2 million Maldivian Rufiyaa) remitted by the Operator to the Maldives Monetary Authority’s (MMA) public bank account comprises the funds necessary to rehabilitate the reef.
This is the harshest punishment levied thus far, as well as the largest amount recoverable under the Environment Act (No. 4/93). Furthermore, it is the first time the government has received money as a condition for recovering the reef’s destruction.
Under the 1995 Act, K.Rasfari Reef is designated as a marine protected area. This is a well-known diving spot in Male’ Atoll and one of the atoll’s most significant marine reserves. The reef has coral gardening, a stingray cleaning station, and a diverse reef fish culture. It’s also a popular spot for sharks, green turtles, parrotfish, and stingrays.
After paying the $10 million fine agreed upon by the Maldives government and the vessel operator, Navios Amaryllis was granted permission to sail.