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ESG calls the latest oil spill ‘unacceptable’

The ESG was alerted on Monday to an oil slick off Gibraltar’s coastline which was later traced to have landed at three beaches including Rosia Bay, Camp Bay and Little Bay.

“The thick black sludge was present in worrying levels at Rosia Bay and reports were made with the Department of the Environment responding promptly to establish immediate clean-up operations with the help from Brightside,” said a statement from the ESG.

It also highlighted concerns regarding the public entering the water in the areas and advice caution when doing so.

“This oil spill could have originated elsewhere and is the subject of yet another investigation following the spill seen within our harbour waters over the weekend,” said the ESG statement.

“Large or small these spills are becoming all too frequent and are damaging our natural environment and are unacceptable.”

It is calling on the Port to fully apply its resources to ensure standards are being followed and identify and fine polluters.

Finally it thanked all those who responded late on Monday night to begin the clean-up operations that continued on Tuesday.

The Government issued this statement to the Chronicle on Wednesday morning following questions put to them.

“As far as the GPA is concerned, the report was received at around 1700hrs by the GPA and Brightside was immediately dispatched to Rosia Bay and Camp Bay as well as one Bunker superintendent together with our port RHIB. Department of the Environment also deployed their technical officers to assist with the response.
The port RHIB was instructed to inspect all vessel at our anchorage with no sign of oil spotted on any of them and no sign of oil nor shinning in the bay. Salvamento Maritimo was informed by the Captain of the Port of Algeciras after the Captain of the Port of Gibraltar spoke to him shortly after the initial report was received. Salvamento Maritimo patrolled their area of responsibility (Spanish waters) as the oil on our side had already landed.
Fuel oil had landed in Rosia Bay and subsequent we were informed that there was oil in Camp Bay too. Brightside started the clean-up operation at around 1800hrs and this continued well into the evening.
The exact origin of the oil is presently unknown. At the time of the report, the tide and wind was coming from a north westerly direction.
The worst affected areas in Rosia Bay beach were mostly cleaned up by mid-day yesterday. Clean up operations nevertheless continued yesterday afternoon. Both the GPA and Dept. of the Environment are regularly assessing the affected areas and will continue to do so in the coming days.”

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