South China Sea

South China Sea

Marine Pollution Bulletin poses a threat as great to the human future as the prospect of nuclear war. The disruption of ecosystems was turning areas ...

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Marine Pollution Bulletin

poses a threat as great to the human future as the prospect of nuclear war. The disruption of ecosystems was turning areas into vast wastelands, said Mr Strong, who claimed "We cannot continue to live on this planet by running down its resources- soil, water, plant and animal life- on a basis which makes them non-renewable". Copies of the lecture are available from the WWF, 1113 Ockford Road, Godalming, Surrey, UK.

IAWPRC Conference The International Association on Water Pollution Research and Control (IAWPRC)'s 12th Biennial International Conference will be held in Amsterdam from 17 to 21 September 1984. General sessions at the conference will include industrial wastewater, sludge treatment and disposal, water quality problems and rivers and lakes. There will also be four pre- and post-conference seminars on topics of major interest in water quality and pollution control. Registration forms and further information available from the IAWPRC Secretariat, London.

Sediments and Water The third International Symposium on the Interactions between Sediments and Water will be held in Geneva, Switzerland, from 28 to 31 August 1984. Enquiries concerning the symposium should be addressed to The Secretariat, CEP Consultants Ltd., 26, Albany St, Edinburgh, EH1 3QH, Scotland.

New Sea Level Theory Recent research is challenging the traditional belief that a rise in sea level has been largely caused by the melting of the polar icecaps. A study of 14 non-polar glaciers around the world indicates that their melting may be significantly responsible for the gradual increase of sea level by 10-15 cm over the past 100 years. Mark F. Meier, chief glaciologist at the US Geological Survey's project office in Tacoma, Washington, calculates that 185 000 km 3of water from melting glaciers has in this period flowed into the sea. This would, he told the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union, be enough to account for about half the rise in sea level, while it is generally accepted that the other half is a result of thermal expansion. His claims are based on the study of 14 non-polar glaciers in Europe, north-west America and Asia.

Clean-up Paper Published 'Shoreline Clean-up' is the title of technical information paper No. 7 recently published by the International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation (ITOPF) and it describes the behaviour of spilled oil on various types of shorelines plus guidelines for clean-up of the shore. Copies are available from ITOPF, Staple Hall, Stonehouse Court, 87/90 Houndsditch, London, EC3A 7AX, UK. 88

Round-the-World News Malaysia Oil totalling an estimated 50 000 t was spilled when the tanker Monemvasia grounded off Horsburgh Light, 60 miles east of Singapore. The vessel, which was en route to the United States, ruptured three cargo tanks and slicks extending over several square miles were formed. Oil Spill Bulletin (Vol. 2, No. 10) reports that in excess of 70 000 t of the tanker's 120 000 t cargo was successfully transferred to another vessel.

Brazil A 10 km 2 area of mangrove forest was impacted when an estimated 660000 gallons of crude oil spilled from a ruptured pipeline near Sao Paulo close to Brazil's Atlantic coast. The Brazil Coastline Defence Committee (CODEL) is working to estimate the costs and damage of the spill but early reports say that a number of fish and birds have died. A two-week clean-up operation recovered approximately 15070 of the spilled oil which also damaged 20 km of beaches.

South China Sea Two large losses of oil have been reported in the South China Sea following two tanker accidents on 25-26 November. An estimated 900 000 gallons of oil spilled from the Panamanian tanker Feoso Ambassador when the vessel grounded on a reef off Hong Kong. Oil Spill Intelligence Report (Vol. IV, No. 48) reported that after a further 990 000 gallons of oil was offloaded the tanker was refloated. Twenty-four hours later, the Philippine tanker PNOC Basilan carrying a 500 000 gallon cargo caught fire and sank off Agoo. the Philippines. It is not yet known whether any attempt will be made to salvage the sunken vessel or recover its remaining cargo.

USA The World Wildlife Fund reports that a proposal to build an oil refinery and deep water port on the coast of Maine, USA, could endanger an important population of North Atlantic right whales. At present it is estimated that the whole surviving population of the species is no more than several hundred.

Scotland No licences are to be issued in Scotland this breeding season for the killing of grey seals. The only exception will be for killing at salmon nets where seals are causing exceptional damage. This move follows a three-year government research programme which showed that reducing the seal population would not benefit commercial fishermen.

UK A report commissioned by the Greenpeace Environmental group claims that waste discharge from the production of titanium dioxide along the Humber Estuary, UK, has destroyed aquatic organisms, polluted beaches and caused serious acidification of local waters. The findings were presented to a House of Lords select committee on science