Chiau WY. Changes in the marine pollution management system in response to the Amorgos oil spill in Taiwan.Mar Pollut Bull 51(8-12):1041-7
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.
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