Source of pollution in waters of Tanjung Tuan classified as ‘oil spill drift’

ALOR GAJAH: The source of pollution that occurred in the waters of Tanjung Tuan to Teluk Kemang, Negeri Sembilan due to the oil spill detected on Oct 12, last year has been classified as “oil spill drift”.

Melaka Environment Department director, Rosli Othman said this following the results of the oil sample analysis which could not identify the party responsible for the pollution.

“In collaboration with the Marine Department, we had taken six oil samples from four ships suspected of being involved in causing the oil spill in the waters of Tanjung Tuan. The samples were then sent to the Department of Chemistry for analysis to identify those responsible.

“However, the samples obtained at sea, on the beaches and from ships did not match…meaning there is no case for us to prosecute anyone for this incident,“ he told reporters after a working visit by Melaka state executive councillor for Housing, Local Government and Environment, Datuk Seri Abdul Ghafar Atan to Pantai Cermin in Tanjung Tuan, here, today.

He said there were many factors for the authorities’ failure to identify (the pollution), including the oil being dumped into the sea at night or no monitoring by the authorities at the time of the incident.

Meanwhile, the Marine Water Quality Index in the affected waters is now in Class One, which is the best category (reading scale of 90-100), showing that no oil readings were detected during the quality monitoring from Oct 24 to 31, last year.

Rosli said marine life such as horseshoe crabs were seen again in the affected areas and the Fisheries Department had also confirmed that no fish had died due to the effects of the pollution until today.

“We will also place the affected waters under the Sea Water Quality Monitoring Programme and will continue to monitor the affected waters and surrounding area to prevent such an incident from recurring,“ he said.

Meanwhile, Abdul Ghafar said the state government was responsible for the incident in the waters of Tanjung Tuan and had made various efforts to restore the situation although the area involved was not fully under Melaka state’s responsibility.

He said the pollution rehabilitation work was carried out under the Melaka State Oil Spill Coast Cleanup Action Plan, which began last Oct 14, two days after the pollution was detected.

“Various parties have worked together, including more than 100 people involved in the clean-up and there is no denying the long-term effects of this oil pollution. So monitoring will continue from time to time,“ he added.

Last October, the media reported that the Melaka and Negri Sembilan Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency detected marine pollution due to an oil spill about three nautical miles off Tanjung Tuan to Teluk Kemang. — Bernama

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