View of part of the Fujairah Corniche and the Hajar Mountains in the Background

Sunday, August 10, 2008

East Coast Oil Slicks Require National Solution

An article just posted on sister site, Fujairah in Focus, is linked with this site because the report on yet another oil slick on the UAE’s east coast, indicates an environmental catastrophe that requires a united emirate solution.

The Fujairah in Focus article draws attention to the report posted (7 August) by Xpress News along with a graphic series of photographs that illustrate the damage to the UAE environment, commercial sector, hotel industry and tourism.

After more than twelve oil slicks on the UAE’s east coast already this year it is time to recognize the inadequacy of local laws, local surveillance systems and local policing that have resulted in no apprehensions of offending oil tanker captains. Oil has been dumped into waters that flow into the Sharjah and Fujairah emirates. Constructive responses from local municipalities have not been evident apart from a mantra expressing impotence because of the view that the oil has been dumped in international waters outside their domain.

Systems are unclear with murkiness surrounding the clean up responsibility of municipalities, federal authorities, hoteliers, diving companies and any other party upon whose patch the oil slicks ooze.

The lack of clarity about responsibility bluntens the urgency of the response and leads to uneven and inadequate clean up procedures.

The article, ‘Oil Slicks AGAIN on UAE East Coast’, is an urgent call for UAE federal action.

Follow the link from the Fujairah in Focus posting to the Xpress News article and photographs.

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: One of the seven photos taken by Xpress News photographer, Karen Dias (posted here with credit and thanks). This photo highlights the way more than a dozen oil slicks are closing beaches, turning away tourists, costing loss of hotel and resort revenue and damaging the UAE’s superb marine environment.