Ministry investigates impacts of Balikpapan oil spill on sea ecosystem
The Jakarta Post
The Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry’s research and human resources agency head Zulficar Mochtar said the oil spill in Balikpapan Bay, East Kalimantan had become a complicated problem as the ministry had received reports that the incident had caused pollution in other areas such in Bintan, Riau Islands and Jakarta Bay.
“This sea pollution cannot be solved alone [by the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry]. All ministries and related parties need to contribute to preventing this problem from worsening, with each party having their own function,” said Zulficar as quoted by kompas.com on Thursday.
Zulficar said the ministry was researching and collecting data on the impacts of the oil spill, especially on the sea ecosystem. “We will be paying attention to protocols or standard operating procedures in handling the problem,” he said.
Zulficar further said the oil leak problem could not be solved quickly because the impacts of the oil spill could expand and there would be a continuation of the problem. Hence, this case must be handled thoroughly and sustainably.
“We must first check the possible correlation of the incident with the patterns of the sea currents, the rise and fall of the tides, and oceanography factors. We also must assess specific organisms affected by the pollution and the extent of the damage, as well as the impacts of the problem on the country’s economy,” said Zulficar.
State oil and gas company Pertamina said on Wednesday a burst pipeline had caused the oil spill that polluted Balikpapan Bay on Saturday. (ebf)
N.Adri from Balikpapan contributed to this story
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