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Mangroves, foreshore focus of oil clean-up

ABOVE: George Grgich seemed to have a slow day fishing on the oil-stained banks of the Calliope River yesterday.
ABOVE: George Grgich seemed to have a slow day fishing on the oil-stained banks of the Calliope River yesterday.

By ZOE SINCLAIRzoe@gladstoneobserver.dyndns.org

OILED wildlife and mangroves are next to be tackled, as the clean-up is scaled back today, four days after 25 tonnes of oil leaked into the Gladstone Harbour. The focus today will turn to the foreshore, mangroves and the environment.

Gladstone Harbour Master Captain Mike Lutze said eight tonnes of solid oil and four tonnes of liquid waste had been recovered.

'There's virtually no oil left out in the harbour at all,' Captain Lutze said yesterday.

'What is left out there now is a very light sheen.

'This is the last day for the on-water clean up.'

THE Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service Gladstone district manager Dave Orgill said about five to eight per cent of the area's mangroves had been affected and there had been no sightings of dead animals.

'The (mangrove) oiling was heavy, but localised, mainly along the shorefront,' Mr Orgill said.

'It's a very rare result for an oil spill. 'We've been very lucky.''

Experts in oiled wildlife and mangroves have previously been concerned with the planning stages of how to tackle the mangroves and how to catch the affected wildlife which have not yet been treated.

Mr Orgill said Central Queensland University's role would be assessing and monitoring the effects of the oil.

CQU senior research officer Leonie Andersen said CQU could look at the biological and accumulative effects that would give an indication of the impact of the oil.

'The inter-tidal community is the first thing to look at,' Dr Andersen said.

'That's where most of the oil would have washed up.'



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