A shipping company in Labrador is facing a large fine for a diesel spill that happened more than three years ago.

Coastal Shipping, owned by the Woodward Group of Companies, pleaded guilty to not properly cleaning up the spill and failing to notify the proper authorities.

The judge imposed a $100,000 fine for the spill — half of which will be paid to the court, and the other half will go to the Gilbert Bay Marine Protected Area, where the spill took place.

On Sept. 20, 2009, the tanker Mokami was unloading diesel fuel in William's Habour when a gasket failed, causing 70 litres of fuel to leak into the water.

The crew did attempt a cleanup, but didn't follow all of the procedures and didn't report the spill, the company's lawyer, Frederick Constantine, told the court.

Federal Crown Lee-Ann Conrod said the location of the spill made the situation worse.

"There's the golden cod in that area, and other unique populations of fish, that raises concern when a spill happens in that area," she said.

She told the court it was important to make sure the fine wasn't just a slap on the wrist.

Captain Bradley Doyle is also facing charges related to the spill.

He's expected to plead guilty on Tuesday to one charge of allowing the fuel to make it into the water.