The Gibraltar Port Authority (GPA) in conjunction with other agencies have today continued with the clean up operation caused by the oil spill which occurred yesterday morning. The GPA has focused on redeploying assets to combat the oil which is mostly located in the inner harbour. The main aim is to collect all the free floating oil and subsequently start with the cleaning of all revetments, quay walls and property damaged by this spill.
The GPA is currently tackling the incident by using all available assets which include as well as their own, private contractors and assets from the Department of the Environment, Sustainability, Climate Change and Heritage.
The Captain of the Port, Mr Manuel Tirado, said “Every attempt is being made to ensure that the waters within the surrounding areas of our port and coastline are being cleared as soon as possible. The vessel will be detained until we are satisfied that they take full responsibility for the incident”
The Minister for the Port, the Hon Vijay Daryanani MP, said “I have had the chance to go out to our bay today with the Captain of the Port. I have been impressed by the scale of the ongoing operation and am satisfied with the efforts that the Port Authority and other agencies are making to ensure that our waters return to the state they were before this happened. Thankfully this sort of incident does not occur often ,but when it does, it is reassuring to see that we have all protocols and procedures in place to ensure a rapid response. I would like to thank all those involved in trying their best to minimize the impact of this unfortunate incident.”
The Minister for the Environment said “I am greatly saddened by this incident. They are rare in our waters, indeed we haven’t had one like this in the nine years I have been Minister although there have been a number elsewhere in the Bay, but they come at great environmental cost. Over the last ten years the marine life in our harbour had come back in strength and it was becoming a key wildlife area. This is a significant setback which we are monitoring closely and we are working hard to minimise the impact as much as possible. But it will take time to recover I will continue to do my utmost to ensure that such accidents don’t occur again in the future.”