No pollution or leakage from Liberian natural gas tanker at Gulf of Aqaba: Ministry

Ahram Online , Monday 15 Apr 2024

No pollution or gas or fuel leakage has been caused after the Liberian-flagged natural gas tanker moved away from the site of its standing at Egypt's Ras Nasrani area, Gulf of Aqaba, the Ministry of Environment stated on Monday.

Diving Gulf of Aqaba

 

The ship – which ran aground on the reefs on its way to Russia after unloading its cargo at the Jordanian Aqaba Port – is still impounded under the relevant authorities, the ministry added.

A specialized team from the ministry’s Nature Protection Sector is currently assessing “the expected damage” inflicted on coral reefs in the area as a result of the incident, Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad said.

“Many ships pass back and forth in the Gulf of Aqaba region... Accidents [anywhere are bound to occur],” Fouad noted.

Studies will be conducted to measure the efficiency recovery rates of the coral reefs and whether they need restoration, she added.

An environment source at South Sinai's natural reserves said on Friday that an assessment is underway to estimate the appropriate fine to be imposed on the tanker per international law.

The fine is expected to reach tens of millions of dollars, the source estimated.

The Red Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba are home to over 250 coral species, encompassing five percent of the world's remaining coral populations.

These reefs provide vital sustenance and shelter for millions of marine organisms.

Egypt has various measures to protect its coral reefs, contributing to a vibrant reef tourism sector, such as installing buoys to deter vessels from anchoring in fragile areas.

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