The oil spill has been an interesting situation in that it has shown that contaminants released in the Kooragang Basin near the coal loaders can find their way upstream, where it had previously been believed that containment measures could safely be concentrated downstream of the spill.
The recent spill is heavy fuel oil with the source being a coal vessel berthed at the Kooragang Coal Terminal. The ship drained ballast water that had been contaminated when a fuel tank had ruptured or leaked internally, sending fuel oil into the saltwater ballast tank.
Pelican are being caught and cleaned, but it has been harder to identify affected Black Cormorants and difficult to capture them.
The cleanup is progressing slowly, using a ‘tread lightly’ approach that seeks to remove the oil without causing additional environmental damage.