On January 17, 2001 an oil tanker named M V Jessica carrying 600 tons of diesel oil and 300 tons of fuel ran aground at San Cristobal, an inhabited island in the Galapagos Archipelago and one of the most unique and diverse ecosystems in the world. Rahul Nair, a sustainable energy consultant having experience with large NGOs such as the United Nations is currently consulting with WWF and the government ministry in Galapagos on the renewable energy portfolio for the islands, and writes on the present situation of the island exclusively for the Safety Messenger.
The Galapagos Archipelago is a place we all-know as the islands that helped Charles Darwin formulate the theory of evolution. After the oil spill, recovery attempts began immediately with the Ecuadorian Navy, the Galapagos National Park (GNP), local fishermen and volunteers containing and recovering the oil from the ocean surface. Owing to lack of equipment and conditions at sea, the containment measures failed, and slicks drifted with the wind and spread to nearby islands. Equipment from other countries had to be brought in to eventually control the spill. A total of 660,000 liters of diesel and fuel oil spilled into the sea.
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