IMO Regional Pollution Centre Assists With Oil Spill Incident In Israel

IMO Regional Pollution Centre Assists With Oil Spill Incident In Israel

The IMO-administered Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC) is assisting the competent authorities of Israel with technical expertise regarding the beaching of a large number of tar balls on the Israeli shoreline.

The cause of the pollution is yet to be identified. As of 23 February 2021, 1,000m3 of tar balls have already been collected.

REMPEC is supporting the identification of the source of the pollution by obtaining information from satellite images from Maritime Support Service (EMSA). So far, 10 vessels have been found to have been in the vicinity of the possible original position of the spill and the investigation continues.

IMO regional pollution centre assists with oil spill incident in Israel_medium

Image Credits: imo.org

The Centre has also invited neighbouring countries to report any pollution in the last three weeks. No pollution has been reported by countries who responded.

The REMPEC Mediterranean Assistance Unit (MAU) is working to assess the potential impact to neighbouring countries. This will be done using the results of forecasting model from the Mediterranean Operational Network for the Global Ocean Observing System (MONGOOS), a Member of the MAU.

 

The Centre is also in contact with the Lebanese Competent Authorities, following reports of pollution of the Lebanese shoreline.

Oil Spill Incident in Israel

On Wednesday 17 February, REMPEC received a request of assistance from the competent authorities of Israel, with regards to the beaching of large quantities of tar balls, on the Israeli shoreline.

How much oil?

Most of the pollution has already reached the shores,
As of 23 February 2021, 1,000m3 of tar balls were collected.

What is doing REMPEC to support the identification of the source of the pollution affecting the coast of Israel?

  • On behalf of Israel, REMPEC liaised with the Maritime Support Service (EMSA) and the Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) to obtain satellite image of possible source of pollution.
  • REMPEC invited the Eastern Mediterranean countries to report any pollution in the last three weeks. No pollution was reported by countries that responded.
  • Based on identified potential source of pollution using satellite images, and Authentication Information System (AIS) data, provided by the EMSA Maritime Support Service, 10 vessels were found in the vicinity of the possible original position of the spill. Further investigations are ongoing.

What is doing REMPEC to coordinate potential impact in neighbouring countries?

  • REMPEC activated the Mediterranean Assistance Unit, to obtain results of forecasting model from the Mediterranean Operational Network for the Global Ocean Observing System (MONGOOS), with a view to assessing the potential impact to neighbouring countries.
  • REMPEC established contact with the Lebanese Competent Authorities to address the possible pollution of the Lebanese shoreline.

What is doing REMPEC to coordinate the offers of assistance ?

  • REMPEC received a number of offers of assistance, which were communicated to Israel for consideration.
  • REMPEC will continue liaising with the competent authorities to support the coordination of assistance.

Background

Israel waters have turned black due to tar from oil spills allegedly from a ship and now the authorities are on a rampage to find the perpetrators.

tar-deposits-in-israel-beach

Image Credits: @Africarz / Africa de Robert – Twitter

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