Deepwater Horizon Deepwater Horizon BP launches data website for Deepwater Horizon spill
Starting 18 November 2013, BP is making environmental data gathered during and after the Deepwater Horizon well blowout available to the public on a new website: gulfsciencedata.bp.
More than ten years after one of Europe’s worst environmental disasters, the ship’s crew and a high level Spanish maritime official have been acquitted of most charges related to the Prestige oil spill. The captain of the vessel was sentenced to nine months in jail for resisting efforts to have the ship towed away from the coast.
Oil Spill Response Limited (OSRL) recently announced the opening of a new base in Saldanha Bay, South Africa. OSRL has worked closely with Sea Alarm and other oiled wildlife response organisations for many years, maintaining stockpiles of equipment for oiled wildlife response, which can be shipped anywhere in the world on very short notice.
Two conservation organisations in British Columbia, Canada have undertaken a drift card study in an effort to document the likely pattern of oil travel should there be a spill within the Salish Sea.
In the wake of the deaths of over 4,000 seabirds in two polyisobutylene (PIB) spill incidents in the UK, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has placed all high viscosity PIBs in MARPOL Annex II Category X, which completely prohibits their discharge into the marine environment. Some lower viscosity (lower molecular weight) PIBs will remain Category Y, where their discharge is limited in both quantity and quality but not prohibited.
A National Pilot Training Course took place in Malta in October as part of the Preparedness for Oil-polluted Shoreline cleanup and Oiled Wildlife interventions (POSOW) project. POSOW is coordinated by the Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC) and co-funded by the European Commission.
A signing ceremony presided over by Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine formally introduced Trinidad and Tobago’s National Oil Spill Contingency Plan (NOSCP)on 16 October 2013. The NOSCP, approved by the Cabinet in January, includes specific language regarding oiled wildlife.
Post-spill studies in the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon incident, are suggesting that naturally occurring oil-eating bacteria are helping the Gulf recover more quickly than expected. An EU project is looking at ways to make the pollutant-degrading bacteria a more regular part of oil spill mitigation, allowing wildlife and ecosystems to recover more rapidly.
On 16 August, 2013 a collision between a cargo ship and a passenger ferry made news as many lives were lost. But in addition to the human toll, oil spilled from the two vessels resulted in damage to 328 hectares of mangroves, home to a variety of wildlife.
A sonar device used for offshore oil and gas exploration has been implicated in the stranding of approximately 100 melon-headed whales (Peponocephala electra) in 2008 in a lagoon in Madagascar. The high death toll was also a result of the remoteness of the area where the strandings occurred.