Stop dumping chemicals in GCC waters
Manama, February 21, 2011
A Bahrain-based marine centre has called for an end to chemical dumping in GCC waters.
Many companies still don't know how to get rid of dangerous chemicals properly, said Marine Emergency Mutual Aid Centre (Memac) director Captain Abdul Monem Al Janahi.
He was speaking following a two-day workshop on chemical dispersants and their role in oil spill response held at Elite Suites, Sanabis.
The workshop was co-organised by the International Maritime Organisation, Memac and the International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association.
More than 40 representatives from the oil and gas as well as the maritime and environmental sectors in the region took part.
'In our sea area, prevention of oil spills is of paramount importance to the oil and maritime industries and to governments,' said Capt Al Janahi.
'We have to protect our offshore and coastal marine ecosystems and our marine environment in general, as we are all highly dependent on it.'
He said fisheries, seawater desalination, industries, recreation and tourism alike, all depend on the sea.
'However, despite all prevention efforts, accidents and discharges still happen. Our industries and governments should therefore ensure careful planning for spills,' said Capt Al Janahi.
He said the objective of oil spill response was to minimise the potential damage, both ecological and socio-economic.
'Oil spill dispersants offer the potential to quickly remove the oil from the water surface and to reduce the potential of shoreline stranding,' said Capt Al Janahi.
He said the region already had strict dispersant guidelines in place for the last 12 years.
Capt Al Janahi said with its natural resources the region was considered to be one of the richest in the world and a virtual marine paradise.
'But with more than 50,000 ships passing through the Strait of Hormuz every year and numerous offshore installations in the region's shallow waters, the dangers of spills are real,' he said.-TradeArabia News Service