Astrolabe Reef Oil Spill:
Death Throes Of Ship-Wreck Poses Environmental Risk, Tauranga and East Coast Areas, North Island, New Zealand.
Today, the Rena finally split into two, after holding out for almost three months since the shipwreck, and has begun its slide into the water off the Astrolabe Reef, near Tauranga, New Zealand.
This poses an environmental threat, further to the damage caused over the past few months by hundreds of tonnes of oil having spilled out ot the bowels of the Rena and into the sea. People have been cleaning up the oil slicks on the beaches for many weeks now. Finally, as light was beginning to show at the end of the tunnel, another splurge of oil and debris has arrived to darken the shores of the East Coast.
In the past few days, after the storms, the Rena has changed its angle, dipping more sharply, and has tipped off more containers into the ocean, some of which have already been washed up onto the beach at Waihi. On the news last night, three of these so far had been cleaned up or salvaged by volunteers and salvage crews at Waihi, but there were still several more to be dealt to, with the probability that more would arrive overnight. And now there is the added problem of debris from the busted-up ship and the remaining oil. The shores around Mt Maunganui in Tauranga, Papamoa, around Motiti Island, and as far as Maketu in the Bay Of Plenty, are reported to have loads of debris cast about them right now, as bits and pieces from the ship-wrecked Rena get washed up.
Today, there was a plea from professional maritime safety officials for shipping lanes to be worked out and made compulsory for boats to follow – one route into the harbour, and another route out. At the moment, there are only guidelines which boats follow. These recommended shipping paths are loosely designated, and sometimes the recommendations are stretched far beyond what would be considered to be safe. For instance – it is recommended that a distance of three nautical miles be kept from the Astrolabe Reef – but it is not compulsory. Obviously, the Rena’s navigators completely ignored the recommended safety measure of keeping a good distance from the reef, the Astrolabe, where it became ship-wrecked.
And just today, when the Rena split into two, another environmental disaster involving a ship-wreck has occurred. This was at Christmas Island port, ‘Flying Fish Cove’, where the ship-wrecked ‘Tycoon’ is sinking with its cargo of 760 tonnes of phosphate on board. None of the phosphate chemical can be salvaged, and this will have a tragic result, as the phosphate will enter the sea and end up on the near-by coral reefs, which it will harm, for sure. Phosphate kills off frogs as quickly as anything, even when minimal amounts are used by farmers. Coral reefs are very sensitive to phosphate. It will kill off many fish in the area, and deprive them of food, as plankton which the smaller fish depend on, will die. So the cycle goes on. The coral, the smallest fish and sea-animals will all be affected, and the chain reaction will go on to affect even the biggest fish and sea mammals. The whale-shark is one species which will suffer dramatically, as the area around Christmas Island is its chosen spawning ground. If this area is polluted, and the food supply for the whale-shark has been wiped out, then the whale-shark may not survive. This accident could cause the whale-shark to become extinct.
So – we have these two chemical spillages from two ships in the Southern Seas. But these are the ones we know about. All over the world, every year, there must be other, unpublicized, shipping disasters which are affecting the health of our seas and our planet, spilling more oil and other chemicals into the seas, and poisoning our oceans. Update 11th January 2012 – a fire aboard a Korean vessel today in the Ross sea south of NZ has killed several crew men, and the ship is now sinking. A Russian vessel also got into trouble in these dangerous waters about a month ago. The Ross sea is particularly dangerous, and its shipping calamities are of grave concern to environmentalists and NZ maritime safety officials.
Yes, enforced shipping lanes will help to reduce many accidents and chemical spillages, but not all. We need to be mindful, not only of the toxic effect of shipping spillages, but also mindful of how mining the precious oil and minerals in the earth is ruining our planet generally. These resources under the earth have a Divine purpose in connecting the energies of our planet, which are co-dependent on each other. These magnetic fields are like the chakras of the human body – They are the nerve centres of the earth. When one centre gets severely disturbed, it can affect the functioning of the other chakras, or nerve centres. And so, instead of the occasional earthquake or volcanic eruption, we now are getting masses of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods, tornadoes and tsunamis, which is the planet earth’s way of saying “I am very sick. Please help me”.
So, just as in holistic medicine, we need to look at the causes of the trouble to ascertain what should be done to fix the problem: An overhaul of our systems is necessary, if we are to survive. No more band-aid measures, or implementing techniques which disguise the problems inherent in the capitalistic, consumer-driven, poison-ridden, Western culture which now even the Chinese are emulating. We should recognize that mining more minerals out of the earth should stop. We should only be re-using and re-cycling the stuff we have already taken out of the ground. We need to leave everything else in the ground alone, and that includes all oil, phosphorous, gasses, gold and other metals.
This is the best way to reduce toxic spillages, and restore the health and stability of our planet. Of course, telecommunications need to be looked at, as well as nuclear power plants, and poisonous herbicides, pesticides, as these things are also affecting the state of the earth and the welfare and emotional condition of all beings on earth. And corportate greed which creates poverty needs to be addressed, so that we develop a nicely balanced, harmonious and happy planet.