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Vessel carrying 47 ecologically fragile oil sinks near the Galapagos Islands

A diving ship carrying 47 diesel barrels sank on the coast of one of Ecuador’s ecologically sensitive Galapagos Islands on Saturday.

A ship called the Albatross sank near Santa Cruz Island, Petroecuador State Oil Company reported.

The company said an emergency plan had been activated, with boomers set in place at the scene of the sinking.

There were 47 barrels of diesel on board, leaving a ‘shallow’ streak, according to the Ecuadorian Ministry of the Environment.

The four members of the crew escaped safely from the wreckage, Petroecuador added.

Images released by the Galapagos National Park social media show officials responding to the sinking of the diesel ship.

An aerial view of the wreck shows the containment buffers used to observe potential oil spills.

An aerial view of the wreck shows the containment buffers used to observe potential oil spills.

A diesel-powered ship sank off the coast of the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador on Saturday near the island of Santa Cruz. Pictured: Endemic giant Galapagos tortoise

A diesel-powered ship sank off the coast of the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador on Saturday near the island of Santa Cruz. Pictured: Endemic giant Galapagos tortoise

According to the Ministry of the Environment, the ship was carrying about 47 barrels of diesel, leaving a

According to the Ministry of the Environment, the ship was carrying about 47 barrels of diesel, leaving a “shallow” streak. Pictured: Authorities have deployed to the site of the sunken ship

In a tweet published by the official Galapagos National Park account,

In a tweet published by the official Galapagos National Park account, a “contingency plan” was explained, including the use of dispersers and containment booms. Pictured: The two men add dispersal to the water

A containment boom is set up around the sink site to prevent diesel from spreading beyond the area

A containment boom is set up around the sink site to prevent diesel from spreading beyond the area

Authorities say attempts will be made to return the sunken ship to its surface

Authorities say attempts will be made to return the sunken ship to its surface

A sea iguana sits on a rock next to a fuel stain on the beach of Los Alemanes in Punta Estrada, near the sinking of a diving boat in Puerto Ayoran near the island of Santa Cruz.

A sea iguana sits on a rock next to a fuel stain on the beach of Los Alemanes in Punta Estrada, near the sinking of a diving boat in Puerto Ayoran near the island of Santa Cruz.

Thorns can be seen swimming in the Pacific near the Galapagos Islands when a boat carrying diesel was hit on Saturday.

Thorns can be seen swimming in the Pacific near the Galapagos Islands when a boat carrying diesel was hit on Saturday.

The damage caused by the sinking of a ship called the Albatross is still unknown, as is the amount of fuel available at the time and the amount that could be spilled. Pictured: A Galapagos hammerhead shark

The damage caused by the sinking of a ship called the Albatross is still unknown, as is the amount of fuel available at the time and the amount that could be spilled. Pictured: A Galapagos hammerhead shark

The ship sank near Santa Cruz Island, one of the thirteen major islands in the Galapagos archipelago.

The ship sank near Santa Cruz Island, one of the thirteen major islands in the Galapagos archipelago.

On Twitter, the official Galapagos National Park account said a scattering agent was used to “limit the potential negative effects on the environment.”

According to the tweet, attempts were being made to bring the Albatross back to the surface.

The Ecuadorian Ministry of the Environment also said in a statement that there were 2,000 liters on board at the time of the sinking and is considering the diesel being delivered to the islands.

The Galapagos National Park has announced the temporary closure of water and tourism activities in Punta Estrada, as well as access to visitor sites due to the sinking of Playa de los Alemanes, Las Grietas, Playa de la Estación and Ratonera on Santa Cruz Island. boat in the bay, but these have started again.

The coastguard pictured on Saturday worked to control the spread of the oil line

The coastguard pictured on Saturday worked to control the spread of the oil line

A volunteer spreads absorbent clothes to help clean water from the area where 47 barrels of diesel oil went into the water.

A volunteer spreads absorbent clothes to help clean water from the area where 47 barrels of diesel oil went into the water.

The coastguard went to the site of the doomed ship, which was carrying 47 barrels of diesel fuel near the ecologically fragile Galapagos archipelago.

The coastguard went to the site of the doomed ship, which was carrying 47 barrels of diesel fuel near the ecologically fragile Galapagos archipelago.

An increase in the sea reserve of about 40,000 square miles was announced by Ecuador around the Galapagos Islands in January following the COP26 agreement.

An increase in the sea reserve of about 40,000 square miles was announced by Ecuador around the Galapagos Islands in January following the COP26 agreement.

The sunken ship, the Albatroz, will be dragged underwater again as part of an emergency plan.

The sunken ship, the Albatroz, will be dragged underwater again as part of an emergency plan.

Absorbent material is placed near the spill site by first responders

Absorbent material is placed near the spill site by first responders

Approximately 97 percent of Galapagos reptiles cannot be found anywhere else on Earth

Approximately 97 percent of Galapagos reptiles cannot be found anywhere else on Earth

Approximately 80 percent of terrestrial birds in the archipelago are endemic to the archipelago.

Approximately 80 percent of terrestrial birds in the archipelago are endemic to the archipelago.

UNESCO’s World Heritage Site, known for its giant tortoises, is notable for being the only place on Earth where thousands of species call it home.

The sinking of the diesel ship by Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso has increased the marine protected area around the Galapagos Islands by almost 40,000 square miles in just a few months.

The expansion of the marine reserve around the archipelago was the first step in a plan agreed at COP26 with Glasgow in Colombia, Costa Rica and Panama last year to create an underwater corridor from which to safely migrate sea creatures threatened by climate change.

In January, after signing a decree to create a protected marine area, President Guillermo Lasso said: ‘We are declaring a Marine Reserve, an area of ​​60,000 square kilometers, the equivalent of an area three times the size of Belize’ around the Galapagos Islands. ‘

The last oil spill in the Galapagos was in San Cristobal in 2019 when a barge sank, creating a small spill.

In 2001, another 240,000-liter tanker sank in San Cristobal, causing severe environmental damage to several marine species.

Outstanding biodiversity in the Galapagos Islands

About 97 percent of Galapagos reptiles and about 80 percent of land birds in the archipelago can be found nowhere else.

According to these statistics, the archipelago is one of the places on the planet with the highest level of “endemism”, a species that is not found anywhere else on earth.

The islands, located about 600 miles from the Pacific Ocean, inspired the British naturalist Charles Darwin, who visited the 22-year-old HMS Beagle to write The Origin of Species, a founding document of evolutionary biology.

The archipelago is located at a point where major ocean currents meet, “combining fresh water rich in southern nutrients with warm northern currents and a deep marine environment that combines with a deep cold western current,” the Galapagos Conservancy explained. .

As a result, the environment has created special marine species, such as the world’s only aquatic iguana.

Species found in other parts of the world are also allowed to thrive in the Galapagos, something that the special environment allows.

For example, tuna, golden rays, and hammerhead sharks can be seen close to the shore in the Galapagos, although they are usually found hidden in dark depths elsewhere.

The Galapagos Islands are also home to the northernmost penguins in the world, all species of avian birds that live in the southern hemisphere.

Vessel carrying 47 ecologically fragile oil sinks near the Galapagos Islands

Source link Vessel carrying 47 ecologically fragile oil sinks near the Galapagos Islands

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