Like the BP oil spill disaster that’s gripping the world, the delicate eco-system of the Red Sea, home to some of the most important coral reefs of the world, may be in peril.
Off the coast of Egypt late last week in the Red Sea, an oil spill was reported – one which the government and authorities tried to cover up. Sound familiar?
Bordering Israel, Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, the Red Sea is a living wonder of the world. It’s also a major fairway for shipping cargo ships laden with oil.
Now, environmental activists in Jordan say they want answers to the spill now being touted as a big cover-up. According to the Jordan Times, they are now assessing if and how the spill will impact the Gulf of Aqaba’s unique coral reefs and ecosystems.
With no real reports to the extent of the damage yet, environmental teams are starting to plan how they can assess what’s happening. The region’s environmentalists unlike those in America and the US, are yet to have the same tools to deal quickly and effectively with environmental disasters in the region, so we wonder just how effective the environmental voice will be in the region. Reports from the region say that eco activists and dive companies are working to clean up the oil. They want answers and someone to pay for the environmental damage.
A team from the Royal Marine Conservation Society of Jordan, Jordan Times reports, is in contact with Egyptian authorities and other environmental NGOs to determine the extent of the oil spill and its potential impact on Jordan, the Society’s director Fadi Sharaiha said.
Meanwhile the Associated Press is reporting that that the spill is continuing, leaving oil-soaked animals and beaches covered in globs of oil in its wake.
The oil spill that started last week was started at an offshore oil platform in Jabal Al Zayt, north of the tourist beach region of Hurghada (also spelled Hurgada). It has polluted a 160 kilometre stretch of coastline, according to news reports.
The Jordanian official said that the Jordan eco society will coordinate with the Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Association to assess damage and contain the leak if need be.
“If we find that the situation needs further investigation, we will dispatch a team from the society to Egypt to cooperate with the Egyptians in limiting the impact of the oil spill,” Sharaiha said.
:: Jordan Times