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Diesel spill alert after shipwreck in the Galapagos Islands

The Ecuadorian authorities launched this Saturday a contingency and environmental remediation plan after registering a shipwreck in a sector of Santa Cruz Island, in the heart of the archipelago of Galapagoswhere an alert was activated in the event of a possible diesel spill.

The Address of Galapagos National Park (PNG) reported in a statement that the tourist boat “Albatross” was shipwrecked in Academia Bay, on Santa Cruz Island, before which they undertook “immediate actions to reduce the impacts of the incident on marine ecosystems”.

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in the affected area “containment barriers, sausages and absorbent cloths were placed to isolate the fuel released by the sunken vessel” and that it is estimated could have contained about 2,000 gallons of diesel at the time of its sinking, the source added.

In addition, the PNG indicated that, upon confirming the presence of a “superficial fuel stain at various points in the bay”, water activities were suspended at some visitor sites in Santa Cruz.

park ranger groups PNG have led the operations for the application of “biodegradable dispersant in affected areas”with the aim of collecting the fuel that could have been spilled into the sea, he added.

Also, the PNG indicated that it has “notified” to the shipowner or owner of the sunken ship, which belongs to a private company, about the activation of the contingency plan and the derived processes in accordance with current legal regulations.

The Ministry of the Environment, of which the PNGwill maintain permanent vigilance to overcome the situation” and will check thenecessary cleanup and remedial actions.he added.

In December 2019, a barge containing 600 gallons of diesel sank on San Cristóbal Island, the easternmost of the archipelago, which activated a contingency plan to protect the delicate ecosystems of the archipelago located about a thousand kilometers west of the continental coasts of Ecuador.

Likewise, in 2001, a small oil tanker ran aground near Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the capital of San Cristóbal and the province of Galapagos, when it was transporting some 900 tons of fuel, an event that contaminated several surrounding areas due to the spillage of more than 600,000 liters of diesel.

The Galapagos are considered a natural sanctuary for its rich biodiversity, with unique species on the planet, which earned it the declaration in 1978 as the first Natural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

Source: Elcomercio

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