The reef-stricken cruise ship Costa Concordia managed to crash itself in one of the most pristine marine areas in the Mediterranean. Of course. And as the ship lists dangerously, threatening to fall further into the ocean and spill tons of oil, endangered species and other marine life are at risk.
The ship has 2,400 tons of oil on board; the BBC reports that it includes both light diesel oil and “clumpy and clingy” heavy fuel oil that’s trickier to clean up.
The ship crashed off the island of Giglio, part of the Tuscan Archipelago National Park, which includes famous island like Elba and Montecristo. The area’s kept so clean that visitors to Montecristo aren’t even allowed to swim or fish near the island’s coast. Dolphins hang out here, as do fish (and fishermen who make their livelihood off Italy’s seafood). Endangered Mediterranean monk seals have also been spotted in this area.
The ship’s already killing sea grass, sea sponges, and other creatures unlucky enough to be in the stretch of sea bed it landed on. (One of the sea grass types that lives around here is called Poseidon sea grass because it is LITERALLY FULL OF THE MAGIC OF THE SEA. So much for that.) If the oil spills out, more of this ecosystem could be damaged.
The takeaway here: It’s crazy to go on vacation in boats 10 stories tall! It’s fine if you want to look at pretty clear water and go snorkeling every few days, but not if you ruin it for the rest of us. Cruises are dumb. Learn to sail or something.
Cruise ship threatens marine paradise off Italy, Associated Press.
Costa Concordia: An ecological disaster?, BBC.