KARACHI: It is likely that the oil spill at the Mubarak Village was caused a ship that dumped bunker oil into the sea, a joint report by the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) and Balochistan Environmental Protection Agency said while confirming that the nearby Byco Petroleum pipeline was not responsible for the action.
On October 26, an oil slick near Charna Island was spotted by locals when the high sea tides left black “globs” behind on the beach, making the residents worry about the potential damage to the island’s flora and fauna.
According to the report, samples were tested by the authorities which confirmed that it is bunker oil which is used by ships as fuel.
The report confirmed that the oil was not dumped by a Byco Petroleum pipeline and said that no oil refinery uses bunker oil in the country.
According to media reports, a ship had arrived at Gadani ship-breaking yard a few days ago with parked shed number 100.
The ship might have dumped the oil into the sea before arriving at the yard, as there is a ban on emptying the fuel tank before arriving at the ship breaking yard, the reports added.
The slick was first thought to have been caused by an oil spillage from the nearby refineries, with some reports suggesting that the oil spilt after a pipeline owned by Byco Petroleum burst.
However, environmental experts responding to the situation shared that the slick was not crude oil but weathered oil, which had been present in the Arabian Sea for some time and had probably been carried to the beach by high tides and winds.
70% AREA CLEANED:
The PMSA said Monday that 70 to 80 per cent of the area surrounding the Mubarak Village has been cleaned after the oil spill.
“We have removed oil from the surface of the sea,” a PMSA official told media.
The cleanup operation at Mubarak Village entered the fourth day as authorities continued to clean the oil slick threatening the environment and marine life on the coastal belt.
A team of experts from the National Institute of Oceanography inspected the area surrounding Churna Island and said, the oil still present will remove itself naturally.
Speaking to media persons, Pakistan Navy’s Chief of Operation Commander Abid said, “In the first phase, rocks on the coast will be cleaned.”
“The oil from rocks will be cleaned up in two to three days’ time,” he assured adding, “Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), Maritime Agency and other departments are busy in cleaning up the oil.”
Mubarak Village is a fishing village in Kimari Town near Karachi, located along the shore of Arabian Sea. The village is a popular tourist destination, known as the gateway to the small, pristine Charna Island.