SANCCOB has launched a petition to stop ship-to-ship fuel bunkering in Algoa Bay to prevent spills after facing three oil spills in six years.
Algoa Bay, South Africa (28 February 2022) – The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) is lifting the moratorium on issuing new licences for ship-to-ship fuel bunkering in Algoa Bay in April, which could be detrimental to the environment. SANCCOB (Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds) has launched a petition to prevent this from happening.
In November 2021, an oil spill left hundreds of seabirds at risk. SANCCOB came to the rescue of 4 oiled birds, and sadly two died during the rescue efforts. Four hundred litres of heavy fuel oil spilt into the ocean in the Eastern Cape’s Algoa Bay from the Croatian-flagged MV Solin. This was the third spill in the bay since 2016.
The area is seeing a rise in activity, and with it, the environment suffers. There is growing concern that the area is becoming prone to spillage due to the increase in activity of the bay.
“Together with environmental organisations represented on the Bunkering Environmental Working Group, we are opposing the moratorium lift and need your support to do so. There have been three oil spills in six years as a direct result of bunkering activities in the Eastern Cape, affecting endangered African penguins and other threatened seabird species. The impact of oil pollution on marine life must not be underestimated!” – SANCCOB
The organisations involved do not wish to halt the economic opportunities in the area. Still, they do hope that SAMSA will take more time to study the environmental implications of this type of practice and work with environmental organisations to protect the endangered animals that rely on clean oceans.
The goal is to have 10,000 signatures. They need fewer than 500 to reach their goal and deliver the petition to the South African government. You can add your voice here.