Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Napoli and the balearic shearwater

There's been a bit of a break with this blog, mainly due to my involvement with the Gunnislake Festival that was held over the first four days of August. At least that's my excuse and I'm sticking with that!

So back to the MSC Napoli once again and the threat her spilled oil poses to a rare bird. The species that the RSPB is particularly concerned about is the balearic shearwater; there are apparently fewer than 2000 pairs left in the world. As their name implies their home is on the Balearic Islands in the Med but for various reasons their numbers have been dwindling. Hundreds of these birds migrate to Devon waters in the late summer before returning home in the autumn and of course it is these migrants that so concern the RSPB.

Reports suggest that Seaton beach was one of the worst affected areas due to the oil loss from
Napoli. Unfortunately a relatively small amount of oil can go a fair distance and cause a disproportionately big effect on wildlife. However if Napoli had been allowed to break up in mid channel then who knows how much of an environmental nightmare might have ensued.

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