Oil from sunken ship contaminate Nakagusuku aosa crops
Farmers in Nakagusuku Bay shores report that the collision between a Panama-registered cargo ship, ‘Yong Sheng 7’ and ‘No.18 Hokuei’, a Japanese sand dredger ship on Nov. 15th, on Nakagusuku Bay, has resulted in the oil from the sunk Japanese ship spreading to Nakagusuku New Port area, where it has caused serious harm to ‘aosa’ sea weed crops.
The financial damage to the seaweeds is estimated to total at least ¥30 million. The oil has stuck to aosa and nets on nursery beds, and bad smell is spreading over the area. A farmer says, “It is impossible to harvest the crop this season.”
According to Okinawa City Fisheries Cooperative, about 700 nets for aosa cultivation were set up just last month. Another 300 nets were scheduled to be set in the near future, and the association expected to harvest a crop of 40~50 tons of aosa this season.
On a local aosa farm, the irritating smell of oil permeates the air and more oil is seeping up from the sandy ground. The farm’s owner says that as soon as he cleans the oil, more oil is oozing out from the ground.
The Fisheries Cooperative officials are now keeping watch to see whether the oil spreads to ‘Mozuku’ seaweed farms in the area. Cooperative officials also plan to demand compensation if there is further damage.