1 Jun 2010

SPREP warns draws lessons from Gulf oil disaster

3:07 pm on 1 June 2010

The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme says the massive oil spill from a ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico is a wake-up call for Pacific Islands to prioritise their marine pollution and prevention measures.

Leaking oil from the Deepwater Horizon event is wreaking environmental havoc over much of the coastline of the states bordering the Gulf, while the losses to the fishing industry are put at millions of dollars.

The Marine Pollution and Prevention Advisor to SPREP, Anthony Talouli, says Pacific Island nations must be better prepared for an event such as this.

"The Pacific countries do not have proper legislation in place for such an event and I think that one of the big learning points is to have in place very strict legislation for the responsibilities to be put in place. And also for legislation that will take into account proper levels of liability and compensation in the event of such an incident."

Anthony Talouli from SPREP.