Following reports of heavily oiled African penguins and other seabirds rescued in Algoa Bay after an oil spill at the weekend, Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism MEC, Mlungisi Mvoko has urged all the incident response teams to intensify their search and rescue for other birds and other marine life that could be affected.
Over the weekend it was reported that approximately 200 to 400 litres of fuel from the receiving vessel MV Chrysanthi S ( flag state Liberia) was spilled into the sea as a result of overflow during the fuel transfer. SA Marine Fuels proceeded to dispatch a commercial oil spill response service provider to mitigate and contain the spread of the spill.
The Department in consequence of the incident has been in constant liaison with the response teams to ascertain the level of mitigation measures. This is to ensure the protection of the marine eco-system.
“Preparing to respond to a spill requires collaboration and coordination among many parties on international, national, and local levels; including the private sector. We are appreciative to see that an oil spill contingency plan has been developed to address the issues of response, assets available to respond, and the collaborative structure to carry out a response,” said MEC Mvoko.
“We expect that the expertise from this collaboration will continue to provide immediate help to protect sensitive natural resources and facilitate environmental recovery. This may include overseeing wildlife rescue and rehabilitation operations,” added Mvoko.
A meeting was held earlier in the week between the affected authorities regarding the incident, on standard bunkering operations and the requirements of the National Environmental Management Act section 30.