The result of an oil slick in the ocean.
The result of an oil slick in the ocean. Warren Lynam

Fears oil spill could spread

ENVIRONMENTALISTS fear an oil spill off Stradbroke Island could spread as far south as the Northern Rivers coastline.

The oil was spilt when a cargo ship struck rough seas off Stradbroke Island, causing it to lose 31 containers of ammonium nitrate overboard and an estimated 20 tonnes of heavy fuel oil into the ocean.

Environmentalist Ms Bonner said it was difficult to know if the spill would come this far south. She said it depended on current and wind directions.

She said the threat to marine life from the spill could continue for months and her organisation would need to assess whether it had adequate supplies and volunteers to cope with injured sea life.

She said the group was particularly concerned for migratory waders, a protected bird species that leaves Australia for the northern hemisphere each April.

While the oil spill poses one set of environmental problems, fears have also been raised at the possibility of a toxic algal bloom from the ammonium nitrate spill.



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