Pencemaran laut Timor mengakibatkan banyak ikan mati
Thousands of dead fish and clumps of oil have been found drifting near Indonesia’s coastline more than two months after an underwater well began leaking in the Timor Sea, officials and fishermen said.
An estimated 400 barrels a day of oil has been leaking from a fissure that erupted on Aug. 21 at a rig about 150 miles (250 kilometers) off the Australian coast. PTTEP Australasia, a branch of Thai-owned PTT Exploration and Production Co. Ltd., has failed repeatedly to stop the leak but says it is still trying.
The head of the World Wildlife Fund Australia, Gilly Llewellyn, said Friday that the early impact of the spill is beginning to become clear.
“This is shaping up to be one of the largest (spills) in Australian history,” Llewellyn said in an interview. “It is one of the most diverse marine habitats in the world. The impact could be over weeks, months, years.”
It is still unclear how far the spill has actually spread because much of it may be undersea, Llewellyn said.
But a slick has drifted hundreds of miles (kilometers) toward the impoverished Indonesian province of East Nusatenggara, where fishermen say they have seen thousands of dead fish drifting.
Residents in the seaside villages of Nunkolo and Bandi, located on small islands off the coast of West Timor, were suffering skin problems and acute diarrhea after eating contaminated fish, local environmental groups said.
“Fishermen have been facing serious difficulties for the past month,” Ferdi Tanoni, chairman of the West Timor Care Foundation, said. “Villagers’ income dropped by 80 percent because many fish died or smelled oily.”
If estimates of the amount of oil leakage per day are accurate, the current size of the spill would have reached nearly 1.2 million gallons (more than 5.3 million liters).
There are fears it could harm whales, turtles and dolphins – some of them rare – living in the deep waters.
Several dead sea snakes and birds have been found in oil and are believed to have been killed by the slick, although tests have not yet determined the cause of death, Llewellyn said.
Samples taken by West Timor’s Regional Environmental Agency in waters roughly 20 miles (32 kilometers) off the coast found high concentrations of oil and, in one out of every four tests, dead fish.