The Marine Pollution Control Act (MPCA) of Taiwan was promulgated on November 1, 2000, with the specific aim of controlling marine pollution, safeguarding public health, and promoting the sustainable use of marine resources. In addition to land-based pollution, oil spills are one of the most significant threats to the local marine environment largely on account of the some 30,000 tankers which pass through Taiwan's coastal waters each year. In January 2001, two months after the enactment of this newly-introduced law, a Greek merchant vessel, the Amorgos ran aground in the vicinity of a national park on the southern tip of Taiwan, causing a serious oil spill and leading to considerable changes with regard to the marine pollution management system. The incident brought to the forefront many serious problems, such as a lack of experience, expertise as well as equipment required to respond to such disasters, as well as the ambiguous, unclear jurisdiction among related agencies. Thus, this paper reviews the incident of the Amorgos spill, identifies the major issues and lessons learned, and proposes several recommendations in an effort for Taiwan to further improve its marine pollution management system.
"Reviews of recent oil spills (Serret et al. 2003; Chiau 2005; Chapman et al. 2007; Cheong 2010), show that (implementation of) supportive tools still need to be improved. For example, in the incident with the oil tanker Natuna Sea, causing a spill estimated at 7000 tons of highly viscous crude oil in the Singapore Straits in 2000, dispersant was applied to thick oil patches around the stricken vessel without the knowledge that the oil was not amenable to chemical dispersion (Chapman et al. 2007). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Oil spills, for example those due to tanker collisions and groundings or platform accidents, can have huge adverse impacts on marine systems. The impact of an oil spill at sea depends on a number of factors, such as spill volume, type of oil spilled, weather conditions, and proximity to environmentally, economically, or socially sensitive areas. Oil spilled at sea threatens marine organisms, whole ecosystems, and economic resources in the immediate vicinity, such as fisheries, aquaculture, recreation, and tourism. Adequate response to any oil spill to minimize damage is therefore of great importance. The common response to an oil spill is to remove all visible oil from the water surface, either mechanically or by using chemicals to disperse the oil into the water column to biodegrade. This is not always the most suitable response to an oil spill, as the chemical application itself may also have adverse effects, or no response may be needed. In this article we discuss advantages and disadvantages of using chemical treatments to reduce the impact of an oil spill in relation to the conditions of the spill. The main characteristics of chemical treatment agents are discussed and presented within the context of a basic decision support scheme.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: On October 10 th , 2005, the chemical ship SAMHO BROTHER mishap occurred in the Taiwan Strait while transporting a cargo of benzene. Explosive approach was applied but failed, causing the ship wreck sank to a depth of 70 m. Oil spill was recovered in a small amount, leaving about 50 tons of the fuel remained. On the other hand, environmental monitoring at the site of the accident revealed that almost all of the great amount of 3140 m 3 benzene remains stored in the nine tanks on the ship and further actions upon such a unique event in the his-tory are urgent. Some possible ways for countermeasure policy are analyzed and discussed subjectively and objectively based on considerations of the ship owner and the government of the Republic of China at Taiwan. They are to leave the ship at its current site, to salvage the ship and its cargo, to extract the remaining fuel oil and benzene, and to blow up the ship in an underwater explosion.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A Greek oil-tanker ran aground, resulting in a huge oil spill along the costal areas of Karachi, Pakistan. The purpose of this study was to assess the lung function and follow up change after one year in subjects exposed to crude oil spill in sea water. It was a cross sectional study with follow up in 20 apparently healthy, non-smoking, male workers, who were exposed to a crude oil spill environment during oil cleaning operation. The exposed group was matched with 31 apparently healthy male control subjects. Pulmonary function test was performed using an electronic Spirometer. Subjects exposed to polluted air have significant reduction in forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in first second (FEV(1)), forced expiratory flow (FEF(25-75%)) and maximum voluntary ventilation (MVV) compared to their matched controls. This impairment was reversible and lung functions parameters were improved when the subjects were withdrawn from the polluted air environment.
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