CANBERRA, Australia, June 28, 2017 (ENS) – Australian federal prosecutors are pursuing legal action against the master and owner of a ship they claim is responsible for an major oil spill near the Great Barrier Reef in 2015. The largest living structure on Earth, the worth of the reef has just been calculated at $56 billion, prompting calls for greater protection.
The ship company owner, Panama-based Globex Shipping, and its master, Kuk Hyun Jang, each are charged with two offenses under the Protection of the Sea Act for the incident in July 2015 that released some 15 tonnes of oil.
The oil fouled 40 kilometers of shoreline near Cape Upstart National Park. Sites affected by the oil spill include Forrest Beach on the mainland, Hinchinbrook Island and the Palm Island Group.
The lawsuit comes after a 12-month investigation that identified 17 ships that had been in the area 72 hours before the spill.