Small Island Pays The Price During Latest Oil Spill

By March 15, 2019 Marine Conservation
'We cannot swim, we cannot eat': Solomon Islands struggle with nation's worst oil spill

Oil spills happen. As we have seen over the past couple of episodes, oil spills can happen anywhere and sometimes governments facilitate the process by not protecting their citizens. Unfortunately, oil spills can have a drastic negative influence on small communities such as Renell Island, a small island within the chain of the Solomon Islands.

A tank carrying 700 tonnes of oil was ashore during a cyclone and spilled at least 80 tonnes of oil over a reef and coastline just off of Rennell Island. The oil turned the water black, poisoned the fish, killed the corals, contaminated the spring water (where the communities get their drinking water), and cut the island’s food supply to those communities (they depend on fish, but know need to collect food from the Government to eat.

This is just one example of how oil can have negative impacts on coastal communities. Perhaps we should remember that you don’t have to be in the Solomon Islands to get affected by oil spills.

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