...BUT let me stress that this is just a relatively small amount of fuel oil spilled from a sunken large fishing vessel, and NOT a major slick from a tanker. Nasty all the same but sadly happening regularly all over the world when vessels sink. thinkSPAIN.com has more details:
Canary Island oil slick threatens Tenerife and La Gomera thinkSPAIN , Sunday, April 26, 2015
AN OIL slick of several kilometres wide is spreading out of control towards other islands in the Canaries, warns the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
The fuel spillage from the Oleg Naydenov, a Russian fishing vessel which caught fire in the port of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and was towed out to sea to prevent damage to other ships in the harbour, was said to be moving south-west away from the islands, but other patches have been seen in the last 48 hours.
Initially threatening Maspalomas beach in Gran Canaria, the oil slick is now spreading towards Tenerife and La Gomera.
The WWF has called for 'urgent steps' to be taken to protect the 'exceptional natural wealth' in the area, near the towns of Abona and Punta de Rasca in the south of Tenerife, whilst tourism authorities fear the spilled fuel will pollute beaches on these three and other islands.
Given that the Canary Islands' main income is from beach tourism, contamination of this nature could be disastrous for the economy.
Patches of fuel on the water surface of between four and five kilometres in width were seen yesterday (Saturday) to the west of the Cabo Descojonado in Gran Canaria, but coastguard workers have now upped vigilance in Tenerife and La Gomera as the oil is spreading rapidly towards them.
Decontamination forces have scooped out 40 cubic metres of fuel, and say most of it is on the surface.
They have also bailed out over 200 kilos of spilled fuel from the beaches in Veneguera, Mogán and La Aldea in Gran Canaria.
Huge rocks which were impossible to clean have been removed altogether to be disposed of.
Veneguera lives largely off fishing and is mostly untouched by mass tourism – and many residents only eat what they are able to catch, meaning they are now facing potential ruin and a shortage of food.
So far, two Loggerhead turtles and six different types of birds have been found coated in oil.
Two of the birds have died, but one of the turtles has been successfully treated and released into a clean part of the sea whilst at least one other bird is said to be recovering well and should be able to fly again within about a week.