Evaluation of 2006 M/T Solar 1 Oil Spill in the Guimaras Strait Essay

Topic: “An evaluation of the 2006 MT Solar 1 oil spill at the Guimaras Strait” Statement of the problem: The 2006 MT Solar 1 oil spill at the Guimaras Strait spilt 2 - Evaluation of 2006 M/T Solar 1 Oil Spill in the Guimaras Strait Essay introduction. 1 million liters of bunker oil into the sea. The immediate ecosystems have been direly affected. Background of the study: The researchers are rooting for this topic ever since it came to their thoughts. They are optimistic that this topic will be approved as they have the means to conduct this study: One of their group mates in conducting this study has a residence in Jordan, Guimaras and, thus, problems concerning the familiarity of the place are already met.

The researchers’ parents have already permitted them to conduct the study in Guimaras. Also, the researchers are deeply concerned for the lingering effects of the oil spill to the immediate ecosystem and are passionate to point out these effects for the information of the people in the community. Objectives of the study: This study aims to: To collect and evaluate water samples in the affected areas for the assessment of how contaminated the water is after six years. To assess the health status of the flora and fauna of the affected ecosystem/s.

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To conduct interviews among the immediate community affected assessing their health and livelihood. To present the collected data to people and agencies in power for the quickest and most sustainable solution to address the problem. Related/supporting literature: From Wikipedia: “The Guimaras oil spill is a massive oil spill at the Guimaras Strait, the Philippines that started on August 11, 2006. It is the worst oil spill ever in the Philippines. ————————————————- Background

The oil tanker M/T Solar 1, carrying more than two million liters of bunker fuel, sank on August 11, 2006 at the Guimaras Strait off the coast of the Guimaras and Negros Occidentalprovinces, causing some 500,000 liters of oil to pour into the strait. Siphoning the remaining 1. 5 million liters from the sunken tanker, at a depth of more than 600 meters, was scheduled for March 2007. It has been said that the recent oil spill has now adversely affected marine sanctuaries and mangrove reserves in three out of fivemunicipalities in Guimaras Island and reached the shores of Iloilo and Negros Occidental.

The oil spill occurred in the Visayan Seawhich is considered a rich fishing ground that supplies most of the fisheries’ demand for the entire country. (NDCC, August 2006) Haribon sent its two biologists to Guimaras to rapidly assess the damage and talk to the affected communities regarding their immediate needs. Haribon will be providing assistance to the area particularly for the long-term rehabilitation of the area. Finally, the government has evacuated the affected families who have already been exposed to the toxic elements of the crude oil.

According to reports gathered in the field, people have already contracted skin diseases. ————————————————- ————————————————- Causes Several causes have been mentioned, including bad weather and human error. Allegations have been made stating that the tanker only had a capacity of 1. 2 million, implying the possibility of overloading Other investigations have claimed that the captain of the ship had no capacity to manage it. ————————————————- ————————————————- Effects

The spill has damaged Taklong Island National Marine Reserve, a marine sanctuary for feeding and breeding ground for fish and other species. The oil slick also posed a threat to the blue crab industry in the municipality of Enrique B. Magalona in Negros Occidental. Dr. Jose Ingles, eco-region coordinator of the World Wide Fund for Nature in the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia, said that the damage may be felt by at least two generations. He warned that the disaster may have damaged the reefs and mangroves, scarring the ecosystem and causing seafood yields to significantly decrease.

According to him, the worst hit would be the shorelines, the coasts and the swamplands with mangroves. This will greatly impact the livelihood of the fishermen, mostly living in poor conditions. In the south-southeast of the spill site is located the Sulu Sea, a deep water area frequented by commercially valued fishes. The towns of southern Negros Occidental province prides themselves as the home of the Blue marlin and the Yellowfin tuna. This is an important source of income for the communities. When the slick is not effectively contained, this will surely damage this thriving local industry.

As of August 22, 2006, the Philippine Coast Guard says that the spill has affected 20 communities in 4 municipalities in Guimaras. It also threatens 27 communities in Iloilo province and 17 others in Negros Occidental. ————————————————- Casualties A villager from Barangay Lapaz, Nueva Valencia, Guimaras became the first casualty directly affected by the spill. He died after inhaling the fumes of the oil sludge causing him to contract cardio-respiratory disease. [6] Two workers from the ship have also been reported missing. ———————————————— ————————————————- Response Due to the extent of the disaster, the cleanup is expected to reach three years. [3]

Local response On August 19, the Philippine government has asked the governments of Indonesia, Japan and the United States to help assist with the cleanup. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo created Task Force Guimaras on August 22 in order to oversee both the cleanup of the oil spill and the retrieval of the 1. million liters or so of tanker fuel oil still remaining inside the tanker. The government has also ordered the creation of the Special Board of Marine Inquiry to determine who and what caused of the spill. Guimaras Governor JC Rahman Nava has objected to the proposal of disposing the oil wastes within the province. Clemente Cancio, president of Sunshine Maritime Development Corporation (SMDC), the company which owns M/T Solar I, said that their foreign insurer is willing to pay the cost of damage brought about by the oil spill.

President Gloria Arroyo vowed a full investigation into the country’s worst ever oil spill that has devastated marine ecosystems in the central Philippines. Arroyo also ordered the justice department to join a special task force heading an investigation and clean up on the island of Guimaras, where some 300 kilometers (190 mi) of coastline, including stretches of pristine beaches, have been affected by the oil slick from the sunken Solar 1 tanker. We shall do everything in our power to right the wrongs caused by this unfortunate incident,” Arroyo said after visiting the island, adding that she was deeply pained by the disaster that she has declared a “national calamity”. International response On August 17, British oil experts, sent by SMDC’s foreign insurer, arrived in Guimaras to help assess the situation. SMDC states that the experts will check the extent of the oil pollution. The Britons conducted an aerial survey over Guimaras Island and will come up with the recommendations based on their findings.

A four-man team from the U. S. Coast Guard has arrived on August 23 to help in determining the exact location of the tanker. ” Source: http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Guimaras_oil_spill From Inquirer Visayas: “Guimaras oil spill recovery goes on By Nestor P. Burgos Jr. Inquirer Visayas JORDAN, Guimaras—Guimaras Island has continued its recovery five years after a massive oil spill devastated it but its marine resources continue to be affected by contamination, scientists said on Thursday. In a forum marking the fifth anniversary of the Aug. 1, 2006, oil spill, marine scientists from the University of the Philippines System said studies and monitoring results have shown the recovery of most of the island’s marine ecosystem. However, mangroves, shellfishes and other organisms continue to be affected. “We cannot yet say that there has been a full recovery five years after the oil spill. But there are encouraging signs of recovery and growth,” said Lemnuel Aragones, associate professor of the UP Institute of Environmental Science and Meteorology and head of the Guimaras Post-Oil Spill Monitoring Program. More studies

Guimaras Gov. Felipe Nava said the province had planned further studies especially on the effects on human health of the consumption of shellfish and other marine animals contaminated by the oil spill. Many areas on the island were contaminated with bunker oil after the MT Solar 1, chartered by Petron Corp. , sank in stormy seas southeast of Guimaras and spilled more than 2. 1 million liters of bunker fuel which the vessel was transporting from Bataan to Zamboanga. The oil spill contaminated the island’s rich and diverse ecology and was considered the country’s worst marine disaster.

Rex Sadaba, coordinator of the UP Visayas Oil Spill Response Program, said studies conducted at the Taklong Island National Marine Reserve in Nueva Valencia town showed the general recovery and growth of mangroves in areas that were heavily contaminated by bunker fuel. Sadaba said young mangroves have continued to grow. Trees turning white The symptoms of albinism previously observed in trees contaminated by the oil spill have disappeared this year. But Sadaba said in some patches, mangroves of some species had shown continued stress attributed to the oil spill.

These were shown in the decrease of the size of leaves by half and stunted growth in some trees. The scientists said continued inspection and studies were necessary to determine whether changes in growth and reproduction of the marine resources are due to the oil spill or are part of normal cyclical behavior. “Five years is still a short period for monitoring,” Sadaba said. Nava said even as the island continues to recover, a growing concern is the proliferation of illegal fishing, especially the illegal collection of sea cucumber.

The governor disclosed that the province had apprehended motorboats and their crew who had been raking sea beds to collect sea cucumbers. Destroying the sea bed Scientists said the raking could seriously damage the marine ecosystem especially organisms on the sea bed. The militant fishermen’s group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas on Thursday called on the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to disclose the status of marine resources in Guimaras Strait five years after the oil spill. ” Source: http://newsinfo. inquirer. net/41161/guimaras-oil-spill-recovery-goes-on

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