East China Sea: Oil spill from tanker "Sanchi" is spreading
The oil spill of tanker "Sanchi" sunk in the East China Sea in mid-January 2018 continues to spread. As the WWF said, the mixture of heavy oil and oil condensate could soon reach important habitats of sea turtles in Japan.
A few days ago, the Japanese government announced that the first oily substances were being identified near Takarajima Island. It is approximately 160 kilometers from Yakushima World Heritage Site, which, like the entire island strip between Taiwan and the main Japanese island, is an important refuge for many endangered sea turtles.
"We are dealing with perhaps the worst oil spill since 'Exxon Valdez'. The consequences for the environment are not yet foreseeable. In addition to the large-scale pollution of the East China Sea threatens now a bitter blow for the highly threatened sea turtles. Particularly dramatic is the fact that oviposition on the beaches already begins in May, " warns Stefan Ziegler from WWF Germany. According to environmentalists, the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas, also known as green turtle) and the loggerhead turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata and Caretta caretta), all of which are threatened with extinction, lay eggs on the islands of southwestern Japan.
The WWF calls for using all available equipment to reduce the spread of oil as much as possible and to limit the damage to marine life. In order to prevent similar catastrophes in the future, the environmentalists also advocate a ban on heavy oil in shipping, set routes and avoidance areas as well as better monitoring by the residents.