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Oil spill along Gujarat-Maharashtra sea? Environmentalist notices coastline slowly getting polluted by tar balls

By Our Representative
MSH Sheikh, who heads the environmental organization, Brackish Water Research Centre (BWRC), operating from Olpad, Surat district, has found that the coastline along the Valsad district “is being hit by oil spill”, with 50 km sea shore “slowly getting the tar balls over the last several days.”
In a representation to the Gujarat Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA), Sheikh has sought its urgent intervention as the “deposition of tar balls are increasing, which shows oil spill in mid sea”, pointing out that it is all set to cause “pollution in coast as well as in the sea.”
In his representation -- a copy of which has been sent to the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, and the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Government of India – Sheikh says, “All oil spill incidents in the past have taken place during monsoon”, giving the instance of oil spills in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013, regretting, nothing has been done to stop the disaster.
“In the past the 200-km-long Gujarat-Maharashtra coastline was affected, yet source of pollution was not identified. Even coastguards had also termed it mysterious oil spill”, ”, he said, adding, “We fear this time the oil spill is the result of either leakage from the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) pipeline in Bombay High or its offshore unit, or has been caused by accidental release from a ship or a tanker.”
Seeking immediate action from concerned Central and state departments “to protect the coastal marine life”, as this happens to be the breeding season, the representation says, “Experts from the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) should be called for fingerprinting the spilled oil, in which the organization has some expertise. Past oil spills were investigated by NIO.”
A tar ball is a blob of petroleum which has been weathered after floating in the ocean. Tarballs are an aquatic pollutant in most environments
A tar ball is a blob of petroleum which has been weathered after floating in the ocean. Tarballs are an aquatic pollutant in most environments, although they can occur naturally and as such are not always associated with oil spills. 
Tarball concentration and features have been used to assess the extent of oil spills and their composition can also be used to identify their sources of origin. They are slowly decomposed by microorganisms such as chromobacterium violaceum, cladosporium resinae, bacillus submarinus, micrococcus varians, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Candida marina, and saccharomyces estuari.
A major reason why oil spill takes place along Gujarat-Maharashtra coast, say Gujarat government officials, is heavy traffic of ships along the coastline. More than 5,000 ships loaded with various material, including crude oil, arrive at various ports in Gujarat every year, with ports at Dahej and Hazira, situated next to the the industrial clusters, being the worst affected
In 2009, a blogger, Romin Irani, had noticed reported “a mysterious oil spill” ravaging “around 100km of the coastline”, destroying the coastline “beyond recognition in several parts”. While the Gujarat government “took a good 10 days” to confirm the oil spill, he said, he found the beach at Nargol so “ravaged completely” that it had become “impossible to walk without stepping your feet in crude oil.”

Comments

Griffin Pedigo said…
Oil Spill Eater II was used to clean the tar balls in Alaska after the Exxon Valdez spill and also on the gulf shores after the BP spill. We can clean the shores of Malaysia. Email me at griffin.pedigo@osei.us
Manish Dwivedi said…
We are working in Oil bioremediation without using any harmfull agent since 15 years in ONGC, KOC, OIL, IOCL, etc . we can treat this site with Indian technology very effectivly and in low cost.
contact me Manish Dwivedi, OTBL, otbl.amd@gmail.com, or 9925005217

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