Ship Wreck Threatens Sea Turtles in Australia; Oil Spill in Kemp’s ridley habitat

By April 8, 2010Sea Turtles

A Cosco coal carrier wrecked on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia has begun leaking bunker fuel and oil. Thousands of loggerhead and green turtles nest among the small islands and mainland beaches here. The ship is owned by the same company responsible for the massive bunker fuel spill in San Francisco Bay in October 2008.

The Age newspaper reported that: “the 230-metre-long ship carrying 975 tonnes of heavy fuel oil and 65,000 tonnes of coal, was travelling at full speed when it hit a sandbank in a protected part of the Great Barrier Reef. Its fuel tank ruptured, causing a three-kilometre-long oil slick. Authorities stemmed the spill, but have warned that the salvage operation could take weeks, as moving the vessel will be a ”delicate” operation that risks sending hundreds of tonnes of oil on to the reef.” See the full story and photo.

And there is the 18,000 gallons of oil leaking in the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico from a pipeline operated by Chevron Pipe Line Co. in sea turtle neashore habitat reported by Associated Press: “A crude oil spill covers about one-fifth of a remote national wildlife refuge near the mouth of the Mississippi River, and another 120 square miles in the Gulf of Mexico.”

The Kemp’s ridley nesting season is about to start any day now along the Gulf coast.

Yet everyone still wants to “drill, baby, drill” and build massive new fossil fuel projects all over the world. I personally won’t stop resisting this insanity, no matter how politically “unrealistic” it is.