Oil spill from barge disrupts fishing in Aklan town

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) took action to contain an oil leakage in Aklan, resulting in the suspension of fishing activities and reaching a nearby river.

According to the investigation conducted by the Coast Guard, the leak originated from a non-operational barge at Metallica Shipyard in Barangay Polo, New Washington town.

The PCG engaged in manual collection of the oil, while shipyard employees utilized heavy equipment to remove oil-contaminated debris. Additional workers were hired by the shipyard to aid in the recovery process.

Traces of oil sheen were discovered by the PCG and the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO) in a river in Barangay Poblacion. During high tide, the response team and shipyard personnel contained the oily mixture, laying absorbent pads and booms.

As a result of the oil spill, the local government of New Washington decided to suspend all fishing activities in the affected areas in order to protect public health and the environment.

Rappler reported that the vessel undergoing maintenance at the shipyard was damaged by Typhoon Aghon’s rising seawater, causing erratic movements that led to damage to an oil container on board.

Greenpeace Philippines campaigner Khevin Yu commented on the situation, highlighting the impact of climate change on industries dependent on fossil fuels. He emphasized the need for small island communities like Aklan to transition to renewable energy sources.

Oil disasters such as this pose a threat to coastal communities’ livelihoods and health, as well as marine life. Greenpeace called for a shift towards renewable energy as it becomes more accessible and affordable.

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