Guimaras oil spill
© WWF / Raúl GARCÍAManila, the Philippines – An oil tanker that sank in Philippines last week is leaking tonnes of fuel, impacting the area marine and coastal ecosystems.
The M/V Solar we, chartered by Petron, the Philippines’ largest oil refiner, ended up being carrying 2.4 million litres of oil on south area of Mindanao with regards to went down in abnormally harsh oceans off Guimaras Island, a number of hundred kilometres south of this money, Manila.
Up to now, 200, 000 litres of oil have released from the tanker, contaminating a 24km2 area. The oil slick has now reached the seaside towns of Nueva Valencia and Jordan on Guimaras Island, also Villadolid, Pulupandan and Bago on Negros Island. The spill is proceeding up through Guimaras Strait.
The Guimaras Strait is one of the most productive fishing reasons in the country, including a favorite tourist location. It is home to pristine white sand shores, a few marine sanctuaries and unspoiled coral reefs and mangrove forests.
The Philippines coast guard is phoning this the worst oil spill in the united states’s history. According to officials, 1, 000ha of mangrove forests have-been impacted, including components of the Taclong Island Sanctuary, a feeding and breeding floor for fish alongside types.
“Oil spills are many destructive once they achieve the shoreline, ” said Abbie Ramos of WWF-Philippines. “Critical habitats such as for example red coral reefs and mangrove woodlands are increasingly being impacted and certainly will simply take many years to repair.”
Threatened types such as dugong, green and hawksbill turtles, and lots of cetacean types can be discovered across the Strait.
“The location is immensely high in marine life, ” added Dr Jose Ingles, WWF-Philippines coordinator the Sulu-Sulawesi Marine Ecoregion. “A spill with this percentage is probably catastrophic.”
The coast-guard features delivered oil spill response teams from Manila and Batangas and doing all they are able to to clean up the leak.
WWF hopes a national oil spill contingency plan that includes all stakeholders — coastguard, oil business, neighborhood fishermen and seaside communities — enable pool resources in order to develop rapid response teams to manage any future oil spills throughout the nation.
Besides, as severe weather events may very well be part of our future, WWF is looking for brand new requirements for transport of hazardous cargo in rough-weather, and current shipping channels should really be evaluated and brand-new options considered to prevent especially delicate marine areas.
• The Guimaras oil spill is the second these types of event in Philippines within the last few eight months. In December 2005, a power barge ran aground on the nearby coastline of Antique, dumping 364, 000 litres of bunker oil. This oil spill severely polluted 40km of Antique’s coastline and decimated more than 230ha of pristine mangrove forest. Rehab costs are predicted at US$ 2 million, and clean efforts haven't however already been completed.
• WWF has been doing work in the Guimaras Strait location for a long time to market lasting seaside administration. In 2004, WWF-Philippines facilitated the completion of participatory coastal sources assessments covering a 54km coastline and 37, 187ha of municipal seas into the four cities regarding the Northern Guimaras Strait, including developed a programme for lasting management of the Strait’s blue crab fishery.
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