Philippines Bans Thousands of Fishermen from Going to Sea Due to Oil Tanker Spill. PHOTO/Reuters
MANILA – Thousands of fishermen in Filipina had been ordered to stay ashore as authorities struggled to contain the oil spill from tankers which sank. The oil spill is considered a threat to marine life and the rich economy in the area.
“The slippery slopes on Mindoro Island, south of the capital Manila, stretch for 120 km and are about nine kilometers offshore,” said Ram Temena, Head of Disaster Operations in the affected Mindoro Oriental Province.
As AFP reported, Friday (3/3/2023), the Philippine Coast Guard was still searching for the Princess Empress, which had engine problems and sank in the open sea off the coast of the municipality of Naujan on Tuesday (28/2/2023).
The tanker was carrying 800,000 liters of industrial fuel oil from Bataan province, near Manila, to the central province of Iloilo. Another ship reportedly rescued the 20 crew members of the sunken tanker.
Diesel fuel, which powers the Philippine tanker, and some of the cargo has leaked into the sea, the coast guard said earlier. This has sparked concern for the environment and industries that depend on the sea.
“Rough seas have prevented the spread of an explosive oil spill to stop the spread of toxic materials,” Philippine Coast Guard spokesman Armando Balilo told local media.
Instead, they spray a chemical dispersant on the surface of the water to break up the oil. It is not known how much diesel and industrial fuel oil is in the water.
Provincial governor Humerlito Dolor said the situation was “getting worse”. He has ordered the province’s 18,000 registered fishermen to stay on beaches until it is safe to fish. Meanwhile, they will receive food packages.
“That would have a big impact on us,” Dolor said. “Based on experience, the negative impact on society will last in the long term,” he continued.
Pola Mayor Jennifer Cruz said several dead, oil-coated fish had washed up on the municipality’s beaches, one of them from Naujan. “Our entire coastline is hit by an oil spill,” said Cruz.
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