On January 16th a tanker carrying 243,000 gallons of oil, ran aground near the Galapagos Islands. This terrible event spread oil slicks over 488 square miles, and has potential to cause serious irreparable harm, to this historic chain of islands. In addition to endangering many precious species, the human population in this area has also suffered greatly.
Thankfully only 170,000 gallons of oil managed to escape the vessel. Companies and the U.S. coast guard later retrieved the additional oil. Emergency aid was also requested to contain the spill as quickly as possible. Containment is currently said to be fairly successful, but most of the damage has already been done.
Sea Lions, booby birds and over 30 pelicans along with other birds have been spotted with diesel stains at Santa Fe. Island nearly 37 miles away from the original accident. The sea life has also suffered with dead fish tolls reaching the thousands. Sadly this damage could be grave for the hundreds of sea lions and thousands of reptiles that populate Santa Fe.
The fishing waters have been destroyed, leaving over 700 people with little hope of income. All islands in the chain of Galapagos depend on the sea; it’s a large part of their life, and their job. The Galapagos National Park has warned residents not to eat fish or swim in the water, causing the public serious alarm.
Shamefully the danger put upon this area was caused by human error. Apparently by study of a navigation chart, it was found that the captain had mistaken a signal buoy for a lighthouse. Ecuadorian President Gustavo Noboa has ordered a full investigation.
It angers and disappoints me, when I hear about something like this occurring. All of this damage was done because a fairly simple mistake was made. This in turn will affect hundreds of thousands of animals, and a protected environment. An interesting fact is that before 1950 fewer then 1,000 people populated the Galapagos, now it is ho…