The graphic images of the death and destruction wreaked by the catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico serve as a shocking reminder of the inherent risks involved in the extraction and transportation of oil around the world.
All the more galling then to learn that, right here on our doorstep, crucial safety procedures are being flouted by a culture of negligence and greed.
So says a recent report conducted by the Andalucian Office of Fair Trading.
Failure to enforce maritime safety regulations on vessels entering the Bay of Gibraltar, as well as lax management of bunkering – ship-to-ship refuelling – has not only led to chronic pollution of the Bay but also risks a major environmental catastrophe.
Given the wealth of protected marine life that lives in the increasingly unctuous waters off Gibraltar; not to mention the cautionary tale being played out off the Louisiana coast, the Olive Press calls on the Spanish and Gibraltar authorities to clean up their act.
Before they have a much bigger clean up to worry about.