Off the French Coast, the Liberian tanker Amoco-Cadiz has broken in two, and on Saturday (25 March) the last of more than two hundred thousand tons of oil, was spilling out.
Off the French Coast, the Liberian tanker Amoco-Cadiz has broken in two, and on Saturday (25 March) the last of more than two hundred thousand tons of oil, was spilling out. In a measure to guard against any more disasters of a similar nature the French Government has announced that in future tankers will have to keep at least seven miles (11 kilometres) off the coast. They will also have to report their position and route when entering French territorial waters.
SYNOPSIS: The Amoco Cadiz has been in this position for a week...and with only 35,000 of the original 220,000 tons of oil left on the shattered tanker, authorities were hoping to pump the crude oil from the ship. But the huge spillage has left large stretches of the Britanny coast blackened with thick oil.
Clean-up teams made up of soldiers and volunteers have launched a mammoth effort to try and clean up the beeches. More than a thousand metric tonnes of oil has been pumped out of the water. Firemen were called in to spray the beaches down. Officials have been worried by weather reports. Forecasts have predicted large spring tides and changes in the wind which could move the oil slick towards the Channel Islands and the Normandy Coast.
There has been widespread damage to oyster and lobster beds, and to the region's important seaweed industry. Fishermen have been hit particularly hard.
On Good Friday (24 March) demonstrations took place in the coastal down of Brest to demand more compensation and tighter controls on giant tankers. The French Government has released an initial five million Francs (one million Dollars) to help compensate fishermen and other local people badly affected by the oil.
Hotel owners on the resort coastline have reported many people cancelling summer holidays because of the oil. Nature life has also been badly affected. As seabirds struggle to regain their flight, observers have said it could be two years, or more, before Brittany recovers.