"Shipwreck Threatens Island Penguins"

"A wrecked ship is threatening to cause an environmental disaster on an island which is home to endangered penguins, conservationists warned today.

The vessel has grounded on Nightingale Island, part of the Tristan da Cunha UK overseas territory in the South Atlantic, causing an oil slick around the island which is home to nearly half the world's population of northern rockhopper penguins.

Some 1,500 tonnes of heavy crude oil from the MS Olivia, which was shipping soya beans between Rio de Janeiro and Singapore, is leaking into the sea.

According to the RSPB, oil now surrounds Nightingale Island and extends into a slick eight miles offshore, threatening the endangered penguins and the economically important rock lobster fishery. "

Emily Beament reports for the Independent March 21, 2011.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011