It is disheartening to hear of another oil dumping in Fujairah waters.
Swimming Competitions Spoiled
At the Fujairah Swimming Championships last Friday, competitors and tourists at the Hilton Hotel Beach were greeted with this sign (pictured): “Tar on the Beach.”
Hotel Beaches Tarred
The Hilton Team had spent the whole day cleaning the oil from the sand so their guests could enjoy the beach and to ensure that swimming competitors did not get covered in oil at the Hilton Hotel finishing line.
Boating and Fishing Tarnished
In this month’s edition of the Fujairah Observer (local magazine) there is an ‘Open Letter’ from a Fujairah fishing charter operator reporting the oil dumpings by tanker captains and bemoaning the damage done to the marine environment.
The charter operator writes (and provides pictures) of three recent oil spills off the Fujairah coast and the way his boat and fishing tackle got covered in oil. He calls for rigorous surveillance, more effective technology with infrared cameras and planes as happens in other countries.
There were more than fifteen oil dumpings last year in Fujairah waters and when journalists and bloggers highlighted the problem the authorities admitted that there had been no apprehensions, impounding of ships and arrests of those that were committing these crimes in Fujairah waters.
The Fujairah marine life is being trashed in some areas beyond repair. Furthermore, the hotels, diving companies, fishing charters and the marine sports are all paying the cost of these illegal actions.
Those responsible for policing must bring to justice the few rogue sea captains who dump the oil and detergent slops into the water. Funds must be invested in purchasing state of the art surveillance equipment.
It is all very well to boast Fujairah’s reputation as one of the biggest bunkering ports in the world but until this oil dumping problem is solved the city is known more for its impotence in preventing these marine disasters.
Dr Geoff Pound
Geoff can be contacted by email at geoffpound(at)gmail.com on Facebook and Twitter.
P.S. The water and hotel beaches look fine now after the sands have been cleaned.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Posted by Geoff Pound at 4:35 PM