Montara Oil Spill Whales Not Monitored
Whales not monitored after spill – WWF
THE Federal Government and the company behind Australia’s worst oil spill had not been required to monitor its impact on whales and dolphins, conservationists say.
WWF said it was evident dolphins and sea birds were swimming through a noxious mix of oil and chemical dispersants last year during the 10-week spill at the Montara oilfield in the Timor Sea.
The Department of Environment confirmed that wildlife had been affected by the toxic spill, WWF Australia’s conservation manager, Gilly Llewellyn, said.
“Despite this evidence there has been no requirement for PTTEP or the department to monitor the impacts on whales and dolphins that inhabit the area,” Dr Llewellyn said.
Resources Minister Martin Ferguson made a report by the Montara commission of inquiry publicly available on Wednesday.
It made 105 recommendations and 100 findings, which showed failings by Thai-based company PTTEP and the Northern Territory resources department responsible for regulating the industry in the area.
Dr Llewellyn repeated a call for the government to create marine sanctuaries to prevent drilling in environmentally sensitive areas.
“Minister Ferguson must now work with the Minister for Environment and Cabinet to create a network of marine sanctuaries.”
PTTEP has forked out more than US$300 million to clean up the area and monitor the environment since the leaking well was plugged last November.