GIBRALTAR’S Environmental Support Group (ESG) has slammed the bunkering operation that led to the oil spill that engulfed the coast in thick black tar.
The ESG said ‘it was an accident that should not have happened’ asking what level of oversight was in place during the refuelling of the Gas Venus LPG tanker.
The pressure group that takes an active part in government environmental considerations then said ‘the polluter must pay for the ecological damage’ in an online statement.
Panama-registered LPG tanker the Gas Venus is 180m long and according to online data is still anchored in Gibraltar.
Between 1,000 and 2,000 litres of very low sulphur oil poured into the sea during the accident around midday Monday.
Westerly winds then pushed the oil onto the rocks and jetties around the popular southwestern bathing spots of Rosia Bay, Camp Bay and Little Bay.
Rosia Bay was the worst hit area, Gibraltar’s Department of the Environment said this week.
The latest oil spill wreaked havoc in the difficult to access area of Seven Sisters, a marine protected area.
Government workers and Nautilus Project volunteers then set about cleaning the affected areas managing to reopen the Camp Bay and Little Bay on Thursday.
On Friday, Department of the Environment workers removed the jellyfish nets from both bathing areas to clean them too.
Port launches continued to remove the free-floating oil sheen from the sea around Camp Bay where lifeguards flew the red flag Friday to keep bathers safe.
The Gibraltar Government said the clean up effort had made ‘good steady progress’ around Rosia Bay by Friday and would continue into the weekend.
The ESG said it would like to see an investigation into the oil spill and how it occurred.
“The ESG has been calling for our bunkering trade to diversify away from fossil fuels given the very high carbon emissions attributable to Gibraltar from this practice,” it said.
“However, it is also the air and noise pollution, as well as environmental impacts from oil spills, which also concerns the group.”
The latest oil spill followed a winter of more damage to the eastern coast from the OS 35 shipwreck that recently left Gibraltar aboard a Dutch barge.
- WATCH: Gibraltar authorities reopen Camp Bay and Little Bay to bathers after oil spill cleaning success
- Port reveals upto 2,000 litres of oil spilled Monday on southwest Gibraltar coast as clean-up continues
- Ecologists slam bunkering safety measures as oil spill from refuelling accident reaches Gibraltar shore