Tanker oil threatens Ibiza nature reserves

16th July 2007, Comments 0 comments

16 July 2007, MADRID - Oil leaking from a sunken ship has broken through floating barriers off the Balearic Island of Ibiza, threatening a series of tiny islands that make up a protected bird sanctuary, officials said Sunday.

16 July 2007

MADRID - Oil leaking from a sunken ship has broken through floating barriers off the Balearic Island of Ibiza, threatening a series of tiny islands that make up a protected bird sanctuary, officials said Sunday.

The protective barriers were meant to shield the Ses Salines park, but the oil got through, Environment Minister Cristina Narbona said.

By Sunday the oil slick had reached Ses Salines, 11 kilometers (seven miles) south of where the ship sank last week.

The park, which has protected status, is made up of many small islands and rocky outcrops that extend from the south of Ibiza to the north of Formentera. It is a nesting spot and a stopover for migratory birds.

Ecology watchdog Greenpeace issued a warning on the spill, noting that Ibiza's coastal region was very sensitive to oil as it is an area of "high ecological value."

Divers had tried to seal leaks in the merchant ship Don Pedro, which hit rocks and sank on Wednesday with 150 tons of fuel oil and 50 tons of gasoline on board.

The government has decided to try to remove the oil remaining inside the sunken vessel, rescue service spokeswoman Pilar Tejo said.

By Saturday, around 30 tons of oil had been cleaned up from three Ibiza beaches, Talamanca, Ses Figueretes and Platja de Bossa, which have been closed to the public.

A ship chartered by underwater specialist Dutch firm Weisjmuller Salvages arrived in Ibiza port Sunday, newspaper El Mundo reported on its Web site.

[Copyright AP with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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