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Oil spill clean-up operation successful

15 Mar 2018
Thursday, March 15, 2018 - 12:45
 
The oil spill that occurred in the bay off the port of Walvis Bay has been successfully contained and the last remnants of the remaining pollutant are gradu­ally being cleaned up.

According to a statement issued by the Minister of Works and Trans­port, John Mutorwa, the oil spill was reported to the Namibian Ports Authority.

“The Directorate of Maritime Affairs, together with the pollu­tion response team of Namport, immediately deployed a specialised team. The response
team consisted of officials from Namport, the DMA, the Walvis Bay Municipality, the Namibian Navy and Sturrock Shipping Agents to undertake the clean-up operation,” he said.
According to the statement, the pollutant was identified as heavy fuel oil of the type used by large ships to power their engines. He said the response team immedi­ately deployed inflatable oil booms, dispersed Bio-Zorb and applied oil-absorbent sheets on the water surface of the affected area. The
oil spill occurred between Afrodite Beach and the new site where the construction of the North Port har­bour development is currently under way. Several teams of commercial divers were deployed on Saturday to determine the origin of the oil. The diving teams were, however, not able to identify the source of the spill but established that the amount of pollutant is relatively small and that no further contamination would take place. Officials from Namport and the DMA are currently investi­gating the possibility that the heavy fuel oil might have been dumped by a vessel sailing past the bay or that might have been at anchorage.

According to volunteers of the Namibian Dolphin Project, several oiled birds were spotted in the area over the past weekend, but none of the affected animals could be captured. More weakened sea birds are expected to be found over the next few days.

Members of the public are re­quested to contact the local SPCA, Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Ministry of Environment and Tourism

or the Namibian Dol­phin Project if any affected birds or sea life are found.

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