25 March 2011

Nightingale Island oil spill: Update

The above video, narrated and posted on YouTube by Andrew on his WheresAndrewTV channel, gives us some idea of the extent of this disaster. WARNING: It contains disturbing images of oiled penguins.

It has now been over a week since MS Olivia ran aground on Nightingale Island. Initially it was thought that 20,000 northern rockhopper penguins would be affected by the resulting oil spill, but there is now hope that that this was an overestimate.

The salvage tug Smit Amandla from Cape Town, South Africa, carrying environmental advisor Estelle van der Merwe and equipment and supplies to support basic stabilisation for about 500 birds for about 3-5 days, arrived on Monday and a remarkable wildlife rescue operation is now underway.

The Tristan Conservation Team is carefully collecting oiled rockhopper penguins from Nightingale, Inaccessible and Middle Islands for transport to the main island of Tristan da Cunha. There, Ms van der Merwe is co-ordinating personnel and facilities to stabilise, clean up and eventually release the penguins back to the ocean.

Nearly 500 rockhoppers from Nightingale Island were brought to Tristan today and they are being kept in a cleared-out Public Works Department shed. Other oiled penguins are being penned on Inaccessible Island while they wait for transportation. Un-oiled penguins are also being penned on the islands to prevent them going back into the ocean while there is still oil present.

Unfortunately, the birds cannot be fed in captivity until another ship arrives from South Africa with a load of frozen fish, along with an experienced seabird cleaning team put together by SANCOBB, and other essential supplies. A departure date is yet to be confirmed, but for the penguins it is a race against time.
If you want to find out more news, penguin expert Dyan deNapoli is also posting regular updates on The Penguin Lady Blog

The Penguin Lady Blog: accessed 24 March 2011

1 comment:

  1. There was a non toxic Alternative to clean up the spill that has been successfully tested by BP after 10 months of spill damages. The Coast Guard sent a letter from headquarters stating to the FOSC to take action with OSE II, and the EPA, Lisa Jackson stopped the Coast Guard from allowing BP from implementing OSE II. In fact the EPA stopped the application of OSE II 11 times denying State Senators direct request for use of OSE II from Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. La Department of environmental requested the use of OSE II as well, EPA's Sam Coleman denied their request without reason. Governor Jindal tried to get OSE II demonstrated on the Chandelier Islands on May 6, 2010, and the EPA stopped the Governor as well. The EPA in fact stopped the use of OSE II 11 times, without a reason given. Had the EPA allowed Governor Jindal to allow the demonstration of OSE II on May 6, 2010, it is possible a significant portion of the environmental damages, including the shorelines and the seafood industry would have been spared. The toxicty test comparison between OSE II and corexit really cannot be compared since with corexit, the label states it can cause red blood cells to burst, kidney, and liver problems if a chemical suit and respirator are not worn. OSE II in contrast can be used to wash your hands and is non toxic. The BP Deep Horizon spill has proven that corexit only sinks oil and causes the same oil to be addressed a second time when it comes ashore as under water plumes, or tar balls, while OSE II has a substantiated end point of converting oil to CO2 and water. See Coast Guard letter below

    U. S. Department
    of Homeland Security
    United States
    Coast Guard

    Commanding Officer 1 Chelsea Street
    U. S. Coast Guard New London, CT 06320
    Research and Development Center Staff Symbol: Contracting Office
    Phone: (860) 271-2807

    July 10, 2010

    OSEI Corporation
    P.O. Box 515429
    Dallas, TX 75251

    Attn: Steven Pedigo, President/Owner


    We are pleased to inform you that the initial screening of your White Paper submitted under Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) HSCG32-10-R-R00019 has been completed. It has been determined that your White Paper submission has a potential for benefit to the spill response effort.

    Your White Paper has been forwarded to the Deepwater Horizon Response Federal On-Scene Coordinator (FOSC) for further action under its authority. Subject to the constraints and needs of the ongoing oil spill response, you may be contacted by the FOSC or the responsible party.

    We appreciate your interest in supporting the Deepwater Horizon Response effort.

    Contracting Officer /s/
    USCG R&D Center