15 Feb, 2021 @ 18:07
2 mins read

Gibraltar denies oil spill hurts Campo beaches as cleaning continues

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THERE is ‘no evidence’ of last week’s oil spill having affected beaches in the Gibraltar Campo, according to the Gibraltar Government.

It comes as the cleanup of Friday morning’s oil spill continued around Gibraltar’s harbour.

Public workers organised by private company Brightside have been removing the oil from the bay and cleaning revetments.

A team of 16 Gibraltar and Joinery Services labourers started to focus on taking oil and debris from the harbour area yesterday.

They have been helped by workers from the Ministry of the Environment and the Gibraltar Port Association.

They have used mobile fuel tanks from both Brightside and Wastage Products to store removed stagnant fuel particles.

Today the workers have concentrated on collecting floating oil from the corner of the South Mole, Small Boats Marina, Western Arm, Rosia Bay and other parts of the harbour.

“I am very satisfied with the work being done by all those involved and this will not stop until the oil has been cleaned up fully,” said Minister for the Port Vijay Daryanani.

“It is disappointing to see any sort of oil spill in our bay and thankfully they are rare.

“I will make sure that we carry out a full investigation into how this accident occurred as soon as possible.

“I would like to thank the general public and in particular our boat owners for being so understanding and supportive of the work being done.”

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REMOVAL: A worker plucks oil-stained rubbish from the rocks in the Gibraltar harbour

Blame

Gibraltar’s Captain of the Port Manuel Tirado has been in close contact with his counterpart in Algeciras at all times during the incident.

“Every attempt is being made to ensure that the waters within the surrounding areas of our port and coastline are being cleared as soon as possible,” said Tirado.

“The vessel will be detained until we are satisfied that they take full responsibility for the incident”

If the costs are not covered voluntarily, the government could even prosecute its owners to ensure these expenses are covered.

The government is denying claims that the oil has affected other coastal areas around the Bay of Gibraltar as suggested by Spanish press.

Minister for the Environment, John Cortes, who has taken great strides to protect the sealife around Gibraltar said he was ‘greatly saddened’ by the oil spill.

“We haven’t had one like this in the nine years I have been Minister although there have been a number elsewhere in the Bay, but they come at great environmental cost.

“Over the last ten years the marine life in our harbour had come back in strength and it was becoming a key wildlife area.

“This is a significant setback which we are monitoring closely and we are working hard to minimise the impact as much as possible.

“But it will take time to recover I will continue to do my utmost to ensure that such accidents don’t occur again in the future.”

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