The Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has begun an investigation into an oil spill that occurred earlier this month after a Tanzanian-flagged dredger ran aground in the northern province of Zambales.
The DENR states that an undetermined volume of oil that had leaked from SL-D1, which ran aground near the coastal town of Botolan on May 8, has already been contained.
Residents, however, say that the spill continues to pose problems for their fishing activities. Specifically, the leaked oil has affected the area’s krill population, upon which many Botolan residents depend for their livelihood.
Much of the krill caught near the water surface smelled of diesel while the odour of the spill itself has also raised health risks among the people who live near the coast, one resident claimed.
Although the DENR confirmed that cleanup operations ended on Wednesday, May 15, the agency is yet to give Botolan residents clearance to resume fishing in the area.
SL-D1 has reportedly been in the area since March 30 of this year in preparation for a river dredging project in Zambales.