Oil Continues to Pollute New Zealand Coast
Cleanup of the large oil spill has been stymied by the precarious position of the freighter Rena stuck on a reef off the coast of New Zealand. Salvage operations and extraction of oil are halted while the stability of the ship is reassessed. The Rena has been leaking heavy oil since running up on a reef last week.
Adding to the pollution mess is the possibility that containers holding toxic materials will dump their contents onto the ocean bed. The listing ship has lost 88 containers to date with only about half of them recovered and pulled out of the water. Not all the containers hold industrial type materials. The New Zealand Herald carries a poignant story about a returning family to NZ who packed their car and household goods into a shipping container that now appears lost at sea.
“This event has come to a stage where it is New Zealand's most significant maritime environmental disaster," he told a news briefing in Tauranga.”Nick Smith
Wildlife deaths in the area have begun to mount up. Over 1000 sea birds have died. Volunteers have cleaned birds and seals that have been contaminated by the oil. No estimate on the extent of damage to the fish and invertebrates has been made.
An investigative reporter, The Jackel, has uncovered some uncomfortable facts about Costamare Inc. the parent company involved in this catastrophe.
Costamare Inc. has 65 subsidiary companies, all registered in Liberia. Who will ultimately be judged responsible for the chartered ship and cleanup costs remains to be seen.