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Monday, January 20, 2003

Earlier today Greenpeace activists boarded the single hulled oil tanker Vemamagna, anchored in Algeciras Bay, Gibraltar to highlight the permanent presence of single hulled ships in the area...

Gibraltar was chosen as the site of the protest as "according to Spanish government data, in 2001 over 56,670 merchant ships crossed the Gibraltar Strait. Furthermore, 10% of all international maritime traffic crosses the Strait. Around 5000 oil tankers travel the same route per year about 10 to 15 oil tankers a day."

"Approximately 20 million tonnes of oil products are transported annually through the bay" and it is therefore considered a matter of time before the area experiences a similar disaster to that experienced when the single-hulled Prestige recently sank off Spain's Galician coast.

To accompany the protest, Greenpeace has issued a press release demanding full + unlimited liability throughout the chain of responsibilities, including the owners, managers + operators of a vessel and of any charterers/owners of the cargo.

Additionally, Greenpeace is demanding that the EU immediately ban the use of single hulled tankers and exclude ecologically sensitive areas from shipping routes...