UNESCO’s Doha office has called for urgent action towards the development of an 'oil spill combat plan' for the Gulf, reported the Qatari Gulf Times on Friday.
The paper said that the call comes in the wake of a report by the Arabic daily, Arrayah, about an oil spill in the area around Abu Zaluf, in the northern corner of Qatar.
Abdullah Bubtana, director of UNESCO Doha office, was quoted as saying Thursday that the source of the spill was from somewhere outside Qatari waters. "Its first victims have been seabirds, turtles, and a specimen of the endangered seacow, locally known as dugong," he pointed out.
According to Dr Bubtana, oil spills happen frequently in the Gulf, one of the world's most active places for production and transportation of crude oil.
The director stressed the need for a regional, 'early warning system', to detect marine pollution, based on oil spill sensitivity maps, satellite observation, as well as daily aerial surveys of the entire region.
"The system needs to be complemented by a regional 'oil spill rapid action task force' which will try to contain the leakage of oil as much as possible," he said.
The Arabian Gulf marine environment was subject to massive degradation during the 1990-1991 Gulf war – Albawaba.com
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