Used marine oil be­hind beach pol­lu­tion

New Straits Times - - News -

KUALA TERENG­GANU: Ir­re­spon­si­ble dump­ing of used marine oil by an uniden­ti­fied ves­sel has been blamed for the beach pol­lu­tion at Pulau Redang.

Men­teri Be­sar Datuk Seri Ah­mad Razif Ab­dul Rah­man said Redang La­goon, Redang Bay and Redang Pe­langi chalet op­er­a­tors had com­plained to the au­thor­i­ties of the oil pol­lu­tion at Pasir Pan­jang (or Long Beach) at 5pm on Sun­day. The sludge had turned the pris­tine beach black.

“We dis­cov­ered that an ir­re­spon­si­ble party had dumped a plas­tic bag con­tain­ing 25 litres of used marine oil into wa­ters off the is­land, which then drifted onto the beach and pol­luted 300m of the beach­front.

“Re­sort op­er­a­tors, divers and tourists helped clean up the beach us­ing a case ma­chine and plas­tic bags to re­move pol­luted sand to a nearby dump­ing ground. The process took less than two hours,” said Razif.

He said the pol­lu­tion was not that bad but was, nev­er­the­less, a se­ri­ous mat­ter as it had af­fected marine life, caused en­vi­ron­men­tal pol­lu­tion and threat­ened tourism at Tereng­ganu’s idyl­lic is­lands, one of the state’s main rev­enue gen­er­a­tors.

Razif said the au­thor­i­ties, in­clud­ing the Marine Parks Depart­ment and Fish­eries Depart­ment, would mon­i­tor the sit­u­a­tion to en­sure the beaches of its five main is­lands — Pulau Redang, Pulau Per­hen­tian Be­sar, Pulau Per­hen­tian Ke­cil, Pulau Lang Te­nah and Pulau Ka­pas — were not tainted.

Environment lovers said pol­lu­tion from oil spills could have ad­verse ef­fects on marine life, other wildlife and beach-go­ers.

PIC BY ADRIAN DAVID

A large plas­tic bag con­tain­ing used marine oil that was found on Pulau Redang beach in Tereng­ganu.

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