Tuesday Oct 30 2018

Source of Charna Island oil slick identified


KARACHI: Authorities have tracked down a cargo vessel which is believed to have caused an oil slick on the coasts of Karachi and Balochistan and polluted the scenic shores of Mubarak Village and Charna Island.

The oil slick was first spotted by locals near Charna Island on October 26 when the high sea tides left black "globs" behind on the beach, making the residents worry about the potential damage to the island’s flora and fauna.

Sources told Geo News on Tuesday that a local contractor used a small boat to dump excess bunker oil from the 2200-tonne vessel anchored at Gadani. The oil, between seven to ten metric tonnes, was dumped near the seashore.

The ship owner had tasked a contractor at the Gadani ship breaking yard to dispose of the excess bunker oil into the sea. 

Sources said the ship was carrying material requested by a steel mill for use in steel manufacturing.

The oil polluted five square kilometers of land and sea in Sindh and Balochistan.

Samples of the oil have been sent for testing.

The name of the owners would not be announced till the results of the samples testing are out, sources said.

A joint report by the PMSA and Balochistan Environmental Protection Agency on Monday said that a ship likely dumped bunker oil into the sea.

The samples were tested by the authorities which confirmed it is bunker oil, which is used by ships as fuel.

The report confirmed that oil was not dumped by a Byco pipeline and said that no oil refinery uses bunker oil in Pakistan.

The ship might have dumped the oil into the sea before arriving at the yard, as there is a ban on emptying the fuel tank before arriving at the ship-breaking yard.