The website for Geneva-based MSC Cruises says the company has "great respect for the world's oceans."
But videos have surfaced online showing an MSC employee dumping black garbage bags overboard on the MSC Magnifica, allegedly off the coast of Brazil.
Jim Walker, a Miami maritime lawyer who has chronicled the dumping on his site, Cruise Law News, uploaded the videos. He said several former MSC employees sent him the videos, plus additional photos, showing the improper disposals after a Brazilian news outlet reported a similar incident last December.
"Someone's got to be ordering them to do that," Walker said. "It must be going on in a larger scale."
Walker says his source told him the bags contained items like plastic, which is prohibited from being dumped, according to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL).
MARPOL, which was adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in 1973, sets rules that are supposed to be followed by the cruise lines. However, the IMO does not have any jurisdiction to dole out punishments for violations.
"Implementation and sanctions/fines are for the MARPOL party to decide," Natasha Brown, a spokesperson for IMO in London, said via email.
After the initial dumping in December, MSC Cruises released a statement stating there would be a "full investigation into the issue."
Yvette Batalla, a spokesperson for MSC's lone U.S. office in Fort Lauderdale, told New Times that the company is "aware of the videos," which you can see below.
She added that "our office in Geneva informed us that MSC Cruises is currently working with Brazilian authorities to investigate this incident. Since it's an ongoing investigation, we've been asked not to comment at the moment."