Fear of oil spill devastation in Galapagos diminishes

A diesel spill off one of Ecuador’s ecologically sensitive Galapagos islands caused no ‘significant’ damage, according to a Galapagos National Park statement after a boat, carrying 2,000 gallons of diesel, sank on Saturday.

The scuba diving boat sank off Santa Cruz island with four crew on board. No one was hurt.

Measures taken by authorities and resident volunteers have managed to prevent ‘significant impacts on the island and marine ecosystems of the archipelago,’ says the Galapagos National Park statement.

Environmental officials will continue monitoring the situation.

Albatroz went down near the island of Santa Cruz.

In a tweet posted by the Galapagos National Park’s official account, a ‘contingency plan’ was outlined including using dispersants and containment booms.

The Galapagos marine reserve, in which industrial fishing is prohibited, is the second-largest in the world.

More than 2,900 marine species have been reported within the archipelago, which is a Natural World Heritage Site.

The boat’s sinking comes just months after Ecuadorian president Guillermo Lasso increased by nearly 40,000 squared miles the protected marine zone around the Galapagos Islands, according to the Daily Mail.

Extending the marine reserve around the archipelago was the first step in a plan agreed by Ecuador with Colombia, Costa Rica and Panama at last year’s COP26 in Glasgow to create a submarine corridor through which endangered sea creatures threatened by climate change could migrate safely.

Images courtesy of Galapagos National Park.

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This article was written and/or edited by the UK-based MIN team.

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