Bay of Gibraltar Oil Spill
GONHS notes the oil spill within BGTW in the Bay of Gibraltar on Friday, which is reported to have been caused by a valve problem on the Liberian-flag bulk carrier AM Ghent, during a bunkering operation by an unnamed bunkering operator.
Oil spills can have a devastating impact on a wide variety of marine life; pelagic, coastal and intertidal alike. Furthermore, they cause long-lasting detrimental effects on food chains and species’ biologies. Sadly and predictably, oiled seabirds are already being reported. These are always the most visual casualties of these destructive events and, even after intervention, survivorship of oiled birds is low.
GONHS calls upon the Port of Gibraltar to carry out a full and public investigation into the cause of the spill, which should have been contained if procedures were followed. If Gibraltar wants to be seen to lead on environmental matters then we cannot afford such accidents.
The Department of the Environment and Gibraltar Veterinary Clinic are working to attempt to save any birds that are found oiled. Any such birds observed should be reported to 58009620.