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  • As Gas Venus leaves and a milestone reached re THAT oil spill yet another minor spill occurs in the Port area. 13.08.23


    Sunday 13th August 2023

    As the first milestone in the Rosia oil clean up is reached, with round the clock efforts in place to save the coastline stepping down to a more moderate level, news has filtered through of a very minor oil spill from a bunkering barge within the harbour itself. As far as we can tell not much detail has been published such as the barge company involved, qty of spill and most importantly why did it happen? One would think that after this most recent bunkering oil spill debacle that extra care would be ordered from top down to ensure efforts were doubled to avoid such accidents? Was this also negligence one asks? Will fines follow?

    The ESG would also like to correct the statements being made of the zero impact of this latest in the run of oil spills. Zero impact means zero oil.

    As an NGO that has followed the evolution of shipping and bunkering in Gibraltar the group has pressed for best technology and practice to be followed to protect the environment and eliminate air/noise and marine pollution to the least possible.

    While some of these targets are being achieved, there is no doubt that much more needs to be done, and done quickly, to review why these incidental spills keep happening. The public should be told of the bunkering firms involved in selling the fuel along with whatever vessel is being serviced when an incident occurs. The ESG also believes the Port must exercise greater physical presence over the multiple bunkering operations going on in our waters as the ultimate authority for Pollution Prevention and Control. We would also insist that the industry is large enough to fund dedicated bunker inspectors to ensure standards by all operators are being adhered to during all transactions.

    Bunkering is not only an economic pillar for Gibraltar. It is also a major multi million profit making business for the owners. As such, when mistakes are made, and spills occur, we think that huge fines must be given to all to ensure changes are made on the ground and tighter controls are put in place to act as serious deterrent. Instead we see some fines, clean up costs covered, a few local companies and departments working frantically to save our environment while bunkering continues, until the next one.

    We need change.