No new oil spills detected at Afrodite beach and Walvis Bay Lagoon
The Ministry of Works and Transport this week reported that no new oil pollution have been detected at the Afrodite beach and the Walvis Bay lagoon or any other location in Walvis Bay.
Additionally, no reports of affected coastal or seabirds or other sea animals have been received since the last oil pollution reported the areas a few weeks ago. This follows extensive shoreline assessment and aerial investigation exercises involving members of the National Marine Pollution Contingency Plan as well as members of the general public.
“We are confident that all the oil spilled in this incident has been recovered through shoreline clean-up and natural weathering processes. Our beaches and biodiversity hotspots are clean and safe to enjoy for both locals and visitors alike,” Julius Ngweda, spokesperson of the ministry said.
On the identification of the causes of the last spills, Ngweda said that, using a combination of satellite images and Automatic Identification System (AIS), the ministry was able to focus its investigations some potential sources.
“As advised previously, it may take a while to finalize the investigations and hold the offending party responsible as multiple jurisdictions are involved,” he added.
In addition to the ongoing post-spill assessments and investigations to identify the source of the oil pollution, the ministry together with the Ministries of Defence (Navy), Ministry of Safety and Security (Nampol Water Wing) and Namport are reviewing the procedures for allowing foreign ships to anchor within Namibian bays, ship-to-ship transfer operations as well as sharing of maritime domain information.
“The objective of this review is to further strengthen existing risk control measures in order to ensure that Namibia does not become a haven for sub-standard shipping. Although we consider this unfortunate incident to be over, post-spill assessment and monitoring will continue,” Ngweda concluded.