Dangerous pollution caused by oil smuggling tankers off the coast of Qeshm Island

By The Free Iranian Staff
Oil slick on Persian Gulf, off the coast of Qeshm Island

 

According to reports, once again a considerable amount of oil has appeared within 2 to 3 kilometers of Qeshm Island. Environmental experts in Tehran said that after the unloading of smuggled oil hauls which is then followed washing and rinsing of oil tankers off the coast of Qeshm, oil pollution at sea level has swept across the area. Due to atmospheric and sunlight factors, as well as evaporation of lighter components of oil floating on the sea, condensation and the environment of Qeshm Island is in severe danger.

Qeshm Island is one of the largest and most beautiful islands in Iran, extending in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, and is 5 kilometers offshore.

Tar balls on the beach
Tarballs on the beach

The appearance of tarball, a “pile or pellet” of oil that emerges after it seeps into the sea is one of the first warnings of oil contamination. These tarballs are abundant on the shore, so it logical to assume there will be more contamination. Because tarballs become a sticky mass against under sun, they can stick to any swimmer’s body, shoes, feet or body and are very difficult to separate. Tarballs, are also a threat to the ecosystem. According to Qeshm environmental director, these contaminants can kill sea birds and small animals such as snails and crabs due to high adhesion.

Following a report published in September this year, the first warnings were issued and the director of the Qeshm Free Zone Organization’s environment announced the deployment of 100 troops to clear out tarballs. Although marine pollution and its clearance have been reported in the ports and maritime sector, the official said, various agencies such as the environmental, port and maritime administration, diving clubs and even area residents and citizens have come to assist in clearing the Qeshm coastline from oil contamination.

Tehran has refused to make an official announcement on this contamination, which has once again gripped the coast of Qeshm and is threatening ecosystems and tourists.