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Clean-up Needed on Ukrainian Shores

Clean-up Needed on Ukrainian Shores one Year After Major Oil Spill – UN Report
[A section of Ukraine]

19 November 2008 – Ukraine needs to clean up its contaminated shoreline one year after a major oil spill in the Kerch Strait damaged flora and fauna in the area and caused significant revenue losses for local industries, according to a new joint report released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the European Commission (EC).

The report, released today in Kiev, lists recommendations to assist Ukraine recover from the oil spill that occurred last November when the tanker Volgoneft-139 split in half during a severe storm, spilling more than 1,300 tons of fuel oil into the sea.

The subsequent slick in the Kerch Strait, which connects the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, caused extensive physical damage to the sea and land, contaminated marine and coastal flora and fauna, and led to property losses and high clean-up costs. Tourism and fisheries have also suffered serious revenue losses.

While the oil was relatively low in toxicity, UNEP noted that it will continue to cause harm until the ship is removed from the seabed and the shoreline is cleaned up.

Today’s report also includes a number of recommendations focused on environmental monitoring and assessment, contingency planning, waste management, information management and strategic policy.

It also suggests that increased support from bilateral and multilateral donors will help Ukraine improve its environmental management.

ENDS

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