Sanchi oil spills leave South Korea unaffected

Oil spills from sunken oil tanker Sanchi have not affected South Korean waters, Seoul’s Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said on February 26th.

Although much of the condensate cargo evaporated after the ship caught fire and sank, oil slicks had raised fears of an environmental disaster.

South Korea’s Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said that it had been monitoring the sea currents from the affected area and had conducted investigations into local seafood to see if there had been any pollution of local catches. Samples taken from coastal seas near the southern island of Jeju and from fish caught in the area did not contain toxic chemicals, and 1,317 inspections of seafood imported from China and Japan over the past month also showed they were not contaminated from the oil spill. The Seoul government said that it would continue to monitor its waters and seafood to detect any signs of contamination from the maritime incident. If there were no unexpected variables such as external shocks that might further damage the hull of the sunken vessel, the ministry judged it very unlikely that South Korean waters would be affected.