Oil Spill in Campo de Gibraltar

On Saturday the ESG attended a well supported protest against the latest oil spill to darken our Bay due to a beached vessel. Various environmental groups such as Agaden, Verdemar and Greenpeace were there and the ESG showed solidarity being present with their Spanish Bay Bucket Brigade counterparts. All the groups, including the ESG, fielded several press interviews
basically giving out the same message. The Bay and Straits sees a colossal number of ships every year and this recent accident is but a glimpse of what could happen on a larger scale if a fuel-carrying ship had been involved. There have been different versions given on the scale of the damage sustained this time but it is clear to those present that even the 170 tons of fuel believed to have been emptied into the sea is presenting enormous problems for the physical environment, wildlife, residential areas and the workforce dealing with the problem.

The ESG was told by several people at the protest that the clean up is taking too long and that further along the coast oil is still spilling onto the shore causing problems for seabirds. It is also feared that the response by la Junta in dealing with the remaining fuel tanks is not fast enough and that more oil could be lost which would make things much worse.

Given the numbers of ships which cross the Straits every year, stricter controls must be applied to ensure that such accidents do not happen. Ideally, Bay environmentalists would prefer to see a decline in the petroleum activity in the Bay and a revival of sustainable and healthy economies which do not degrade the environment and pose such dangers to people and environment alike.

The ESG will keep close tabs with its friends across the border for updates on the situation and will help out wherever possible with any voluntarry clean-ups which may follow from the weekends protest.

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This post is also available in: Spanish

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