Oil blockades seafood capital

LA CORUNA (Reuter) - Improved weather conditions yesterday allowed salvage operations to resume on the wreckage of the Greek tanker, Aegean Sea, which broke up on Thursday spilling thousands of tons of crude oil along 100km (62 miles) of a coastline known as Europe's seafood capital. The regional government has barred fishing in the area until at least 15 December.

Thirteen vessels were employed to clean up the oil slick. It appeared to be under control local officials said, but it was too early to say how much of the tanker's 24 million gallon cargo of crude oil had spilt or who was responsible for the accident in which the ship ran aground, split in two and caught fire.

The Aegean Sea's Greek captain, Constantine Stavrides, was released yesterday on payment of 1 million pesetas (pounds 5,650) bail. The 26 members of his Filipino and Greek crew were giving statements to judges in La Coruna.

The governor of La Coruna, Pilar Lledo, said the accident appeared to be due to negligence, and that Mr Stavrides had failed to co-operate with the Spanish authorities soon after the ship ran aground.

'There appears to be ample evidence of professional negligence, and initially he (Mr Stavrides) refused to co-operate at a time when his information was vital to the salvage operation,' she told reporters.

The port of Ferrol, about 25km from La Coruna, remained closed as small vessels sought to control the oil slick and prevent it from entering the estuary. However, Greenpeace said measures taken to control the spill were insufficient and cosmetic.

'All that is being done is to try to combat the visual effect, forgetting long-term contamination effects,' Jeremy Leggett, the Greenpeace representative, told a news conference in La Coruna. Mr Leggett, who witnessed the Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska, estimated that the Aegean Sea had been carrying double the volume of crude.

Juan Lopez Ugalde, contamination co-ordinator for Greenpeace in Spain, said it was still too early to assess the damage from the spill, but he described it as an ecological disaster. 'We have already located more than 1,000 birds smothered by the oil, and have sighted many dolphins in the area,' he said.

Local volunteers collected molluscs from the affected beaches to try to save the local shellfish industry, one of Galicia's most important revenue earners, but 215 boats and 800 crew will be left idle for the next 10 days. Galicia could face severe problems. Nearly 20 per cent of the population lives off the fishing industry, which is worth around 30 billion pesetas to the regional economy.

In Madrid, the state-owned oil company, Repsol SA, which chartered the vessel, said it had passed its revision by Lloyd's in October, and and was considered to be a 'green tanker'.

Suggested Topics
News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
Fans hold up a scarf at West Ham vs Liverpool
footballAfter Arsenal's clear victory, focus turns to West Ham vs Liverpool
New Articles
i100... she's just started school
News
news
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Sport
football
New Articles
i100... despite rising prices
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Qualified Primary Teaching Assistant

£64 - £73 per day + Competitive rates based on experience : Randstad Education...

Primary KS2 NQTs required in Lambeth

£117 - £157 per day + Competitive London rates: Randstad Education Group: * Pr...

Primary NQTs required in Lambeth

£117 - £157 per day + Competitive London rates: Randstad Education Group: * Pr...

Primary NQTs required in Lambeth

£117 - £157 per day + Competitive London rates: Randstad Education Group: * Pr...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam