Ibiza still in oil

WWF demands salvage of the damaged freighter "Don Pedro"

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For six days, the freighter "Don Pedro" has been lying in front of Ibiza in 48 meters of water. Although the cracks in the wreck have now apparently been closed, but for the WWF is no reason for the all clear.

"The shipping company Iscomar, which owns the sunken ship, must recover the wreck, " says WWF expert Stephan Lutter. Only then could a creeping oil spill be avoided. Corrosion is expected to result in the coming years of oil again and again.

In total, about 170 tons of heavy oil and another 50 tons of diesel are suspected in the tanks of the ship. Part of it has already flowed into the sea and has polluted several beaches of the holiday island. The WWF fears that it will leave it at the cleaning of the beaches. "We can not simply move on to the agenda, " says José Luís Varas from WWF Spain. The sunken ship is a permanent threat to the sensitive nature of the region.

The nearby Ses Salines Natural Park is home to dolphins and endangered Red List species such as the loggerhead turtle and the Balearic shearwater. Also valuable seagrass meadows could be affected.

Oil spill even after decades

The WWF refers to sunken ships, from which often leaked even after decades of oil. An oil spill off California, which became a death trap in 2002 for thousands of seabirds, went back to the sinking of a 1954 sunken freighter. As wrecks begin to rust, it causes creeping contamination of the ocean floor with heavy metals, warns the WWF. display

The demand for recovery of the freighter is underpinned by the WWF with reference to the international legal situation. In May this year, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted a convention requiring the recovery of shipwrecks when a permanent environmental impact threatens. Although the regulation still needs to be ratified by the IMO states, it still needs to be acted on in terms of the environment, according to the WWF.

In the case of the before Ibiza sunken freighter the shipping company Icomar is responsible. The polluter pays principle applies. "Who pollutes the sea, must pay also for clean-up work and renaturation, " emphasizes José Luís Varas.

(WWF, 18.07.2007 - DLO)