Tuesday, May 02, 2006 6:57:39 PM ET
OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada is investigating whether the luxury cruise liner Queen Elizabeth 2 illegally dumped garbage in Canadian waters and could prosecute if there is sufficient evidence, officials said on Tuesday.
The federal Transport Ministry started an investigation after the ship reported last September that it had dumped 3,000 litres (790 U.S. gallons) of paper pulp in waters near the 12-mile limit off Canada's Atlantic coast.
A spokeswoman for Cunard said the firm "regret(s) the accidental discharge of food and waste paper that occurred when QE2 was offshore" and promised to co-operate with the probe.
The Transport Ministry said the next time the QE2 entered a Canadian port, inspectors would board the ship to gather evidence and interview crew members.
"If there's sufficient evidence, and if warranted, we'd prosecute," said Steve Bone. In recent years, ship owners have been fined C$3,000 ($2,700) for dumping garbage in Canadian waters.
Queen Elizabeth 2 is owned by Cunard, a unit of Miami-based cruise line Carnival Corp
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