Posted on January 17, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis

A large spill was detected in the port of Santos, Brazil. The spill, which local authorities believe to be fertiliser-based, allegedly originated from the Cyprus-flagged bulk carrier, Rook.

The vessel had been transporting over 10000 tons of fertiliser and was waiting for permission to dock at the port of Santos at the time of the incident.

The Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA), which acts as the administrative arm for the Brazilian Ministry of Environment, has made a case as to the environmental impact of the spill, suggesting that it has spread to the nearby regions of Santos, Sao Vicente, Praia Grande and Guaruja.

The potential environmental impact of the spill is not insignificant. A large volume of dead fish has been found washed up along beaches in the region over the last few days.

According to Ana Angelica Alabarce, a local environment agent working for IBAMA, there’s currently two possibilities. Either the holds of the vessel were washed, and the chemical waste was dumped in the sea, or the fertilizer accidentally leaked from containment.

An investigation has been opened into the incident, that will include collecting testimony from the ship’s Master and crew, as well as an inspection of the vessel itself.

Currently, local authorities are awaiting the results of the preliminary analysis of the samples that were collected on Thursday.

If the investigation manages to attribute the spill to the vessel, then the shipowner might face a fine of up to 50 million Brazilian real, equivalent approximately to over 10 million pounds.

Posted in News , Pollution , Environment , Risk , Brazil , South America

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