Govt wants wrecked vessel removed

The Wrecked Solomon Trader. Photo: Australian High Commission.

The Solomon Islands Government recommends, MV Solomon Trader’s owner, King Trader Limited (South Express Limited) removes its wrecked vessel from West Rennel.

Other measures include applying safe treatment of heavy fuel, oil and other hydrocarbons from the vessel, and cleaning up the polluted environment.

The National Emergency Operation Centre, NEOC, today confirmed in its “National Situation Report number three (3) on MV Solomon Trader Oil Spill Disaster.

SIBC News understands, a disaster response team consisting of government officers with expertise have made a progressive work on the issue since 22nd of last month.

Meanwhile, prosecution is looming for the environmental pollution caused by the wrecked bauxite bulk carrier, MV Solomon Trader in Renbel province.

Director of Environment under the Ministry responsible for Environment, Joseph Horokou told a media conference this week there is possibility for prosecution due to the pollution caused by the oil spillage on Rennell Islands’ marine ecology.

He said a report was being complied to determine the next steps to take regarding the environmental pollution in West Rennell.

“Actually my division is part of the initial team on site to assess and monitor the current situation and my officer just returned during last weekend so he has produced a report and based on that report my division will be looking at the possibility of prosecution which may happen later and maybe things such as damage assessments so that people may want to lay claims, but these will be determined later”.

Meanwhile, inshore Fisheries Advisor to the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Reuben John Sulu outlined the course of action on the oil spillage.

“MFMR work will basically include the observation and documentation of the general spread of the oil within the immediate and surrounding area. We will undertake an ecological assessment to determine the impacts on the ground and other impacts on the living marine resources within the area,”he said.

“We are also intending to look at the social impacts that the damage may have caused and this looks at livelihoods, fisheries resources and the like, and also we’ll be looking at putting a figure value on the damage to living resources which is caused by the accident”.

By: Lowen Sei. 

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