This US port has just received controversial phosphates
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On the top left corner of this Florida harbour, a vessel unloaded phosphate from occupied Western Sahara in July.
Published 04 August 2008

On July 16th, a Greek vessel called Heron arrived Florida, USA, with phosphate rock from occupied Western Sahara. The trade is in violation of international law.

The vessel discharged its cargo on berth number 6, on the top left corner of the above photo of Manatee County Port Authority, Tampa. A railroad ends at that berth, on which the phosphate rock was probably transported to Mosaic's nearby fertilizer plants a few kilometers away.

WSRW also documented a vessel to Mosaic in January. Mosaic is one of 2 US phosphate importers from the occupied African country.

Trading with phosphates from occupied Western Sahara is in violation of international law, ref. the 2002 legal opinion by the UN Under-secretary General for Legal Affairs. The Sahrawi people, indigenous to Western Sahara, opposes the trade, while struggling for the liberation of their country from Moroccan rule. The Sahrawis' right to self-determination and independence has been supported by more then 100 UN resolutions, and by the International Court of Justice.

The Greek flagged bulk carrier, which has IMO number 8316297 and call sign SVOA is operated and owned by the Greek company Heron Maritime S.A. The responsible agent in the Tampa harbour is Nova International Services.

There is a possibility that the same vessel can have taken part also in a previous shipment to Napier, New Zealand, in 2003.

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