Fujairah Collage

Fujairah Collage
Some distinctive landmarks in Fujairah

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Oil Washes onto Beaches at Al Aqah, Fujairah

Hotels at the Fujairah resort area of Al Aqah said that an oil slick had washed up on their beaches yesterday (19 April) causing the closing of the beaches to clean the sand.

Hotels reported that more oil washed up this afternoon (20 April) with some guests complaining about the smell in the air and their inability to use the beach and sea facilities.

One diver reported that he and others who went diving yesterday got covered in oil and had to cut their excursion early to clean their equipment. The reports differ along the coastline. One Al Aqah diving company this evening reported “little bits of tar” in the water today that were judged insufficient to cancel their diving instruction classes.

Dead sea birds covered in oil were the visible sign of the huge damage that is caused to the marine environment when rogue captains of oil tankers dump their tanks of waste oil and detergents into the sea.

Oil Dumping Saga

During the oil dumping saga of 2008 there were concerns expressed by commentators and fishermen that not enough was being done in surveillance and in apprehending oil tanker captains who dump.

An Opinion piece in The National (15 September 2008) declared that there were ‘No Excuses for these Oil Slicks’ and judged that current monitoring measures were ineffective and unacceptable.

In this same article, however, the journalist indicated a change of attitude with the Fujairah authorities “aggressively pursuing the case” [of the then current oil slick] and pledging to do “whatever is necessary to find out who did this.” Mohammed al Afham, the Fujairah Municipality’s General Manager confirmed, “We will not hesitate to use the law to protect our coast and our environment.”

At this stage the Fujairah authorities have issued no public comment about the recent oil slick at Al Aqah, the extent of the damage, the work of cleaning the coast and what is being done to bring the offending sea captain/s to justice.

Geoff Pound

This article is also posted in the Fujairah in Focus—Facebook Page.

Image: One of the beach cleaners and sand sifters that are used for regular and special cleaning on the East Coast beaches.

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