Environmental Emergency in Peru

 

Context:

  • The Government of Peru recently declared an environmental emergency due to oil spill.
  • The emergency is to last for 90 – days

 

 

What happened?

 

  • Around six thousand barrels of oil were spilled into the Pacific Ocean. A tanker of Repsol, a Spanish Energy firm, was transporting oil to Vantinalla refinery in Peru.
  • The name of the tanker is “Mare Doricum”. It is an Italian tanker.
  • The oil spill occurred due to the explosion of undersea volcano Tonga.
  • According to NASA, the Tonga volcano eruption is more powerful than an atom bomb.
  • The tsunami waves from the explosion caused the oil spill.

 

Damages caused

 

  • The oil spill killed huge number of marine wildlife. It has left a huge impact on the local fishermen. Also, it is to affect the tourism sector largely.
  • Around 2,384 cubic metres of sand is affected by the oil spill.
  • The total economic losses are estimated to be more than 50 million USD.
  • Around 713 hectares of sea has been affected.

 

Impact on Biodiversity

 

  • The oil spill has threatened the survival of Humboldt penguins. These penguins are listed as “vulnerable” species by the IUCN.
  • The fish in the region is carrying oil smell. The crustaceans that feed on the fish are badly affected.

 

Humboldt Penguins

 

  • The Humboldt Penguins were added to the Mumbai Byculla Zoo in September 2021.
  • They have large bare skin patches around their eyes. This adaptation of the penguin helps to keep them cool.
  • They are endemic to  the coasts of Peru and Chile. They are named after the Humboldt Current.
  • CITES has listed the Humboldt penguins under Appendix I. The appendix I has the list of extinct species.

 

Source The Hindu

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