Oman’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs (MECA) has expressed concern at bitumen disposal by commercial ships in Omani waters. It is now conducting daily inspections to monitor for violations.
In May MECA seized an oil tanker carrying 2m barrels which was found dumping contaminants near the sultanate’s coasts. MECA said these contaminants were a threat to the marine environment. ‘The main cause of Oman’s water pollution is that some commercial ships and oil tankers wash their tanks while crossing our territorial waters. Such conducts are a violation of international and domestic regulations. “Disposal of bitumen affects not just the marine environment, but also leads to many health, social and economic problems” MECA said, noting that it had formed a technical team comprising experts dealing with oil pollution, officials from ROP’s Coast Guard Unit and representatives from the Directorate General of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources in Musandam Governorate and the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries to deal with any violations.