Potential African Penguin Oiling Disaster

To: birdchat <>, birding-aus <>, UKBirdnet <>, EBN <>
Subject: Potential African Penguin Oiling Disaster
From: Carol de Bruin <>
Date: Sat, 24 Jun 2000 09:53:18 +0200
Hi there,

I forward Les Underhill's posting for those interested.

We have a potential oiling problem in Cape Town Area. The penguins are
already on the vulnerable list. Oil started to come up yesterday afternoon.
Rehabbers will know the good work done by SANCCOB but funds, hands and
material help may be needed if this develops. Will keep the lists posted as
to progress and locate the contact numbers of the co-ordinators.

Carol de Bruin

-----Original Message-----
From: Les Underhill <>
To:  <>; 
Cc:  <>;
Date: 23 June 2000 06:34
Subject: [SEABIRD] The Treasure has sunk

The iron-ore ship which has been in trouble off the Western Cape
coast for the past few days, the Treasure, sank early this morning.
It went down 8 km northwest of Melkbosstrand, almost exactly opposite
the nuclear power station at Koeberg. The place of sinking is
approximately 20 km north of the African Penguin colony on Robben
Island, and about 40 km south of the colony on Dassen Island. The
ship had 1300 tons of fuel oil on board.  It seems almost an
inevitably that penguins will be oiled.

On 20 June 1994, six years and three days ago, the Apollo Sea sank,
initiating the worst penguin oiling incident ever, with about 10 000
penguins impacted. The point of sinking of the Apollo Sea was
southwest of Dassen Island, probably less than 30 km from where
the Treasure has gone down. The Apollo Sea leaked about 2000 tons of
fuel oil into the sea, and successive wind changes spread it around
very effectively. It was also an iron ore carrier.

The Avian Demography Unit is working closely with SANCCOB, and we
will try to keep reliable penguin news available on our website, URL
below. (The ADU website will be unavailable from about noon tomorrow
until Monday morning, because of major electrical recabling at the
University of Cape Town). The website already has an embryo
African Penguin page, and we will expand this rapidly over the next
few days.


Professor Les Underhill
Director: Avian Demography Unit
Department of Statistical Sciences
University of Cape Town
Rondebosch 7701 South Africa
Phone +27 21 650 3227  Fax +27 21 650 3434

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