Report: ôPrestigeö spill will impact Spain for 10 years
An environmental group said Thursday that an oil spill off Spain’s northwestern coast from the sunken tanker 'Prestige' could cause continuing damage reckoned at 5 billion euros over the next decade.
A report by the WWF (formerly World Wildlife Fund) sharply criticizes Spain’s response to the oil spill. Errors made during the cleanup could further harm the environment, the WWF noted. In particular, the report said that Galician fisheries reopened too soon after the spill.
After the 'Prestige' sank in a storm on Nov. 13, 2002, having been denied a coastal refuge by Spain, the ship released 63,000 tons of oil, almost twice the amount that seeped from the 'Exxon Valdez' in Alaska’s Prince William Sound in 1989.
The Spanish government has sent robots to the ocean floor that have sealed cracks in the hull of the tanker, which sank on the Galicia Bank, an undersea mountain “of great ecological value,” the WWF said.