Quaking Like a Reef
A Malaysian ship with a load of dangerous chemicals ran aground last week on the Great Barrier Reef off the northeastern coast of Australia, likely damaging about 150 feet of coral with the impact of its landing. The ship is still stuck on the reef, which is part of the world’s largest complex of coral reefs, but officials say the ship’s cargo and fuel are safely contained and in no immediate danger of polluting the area. Environmentalists called on Friday for ships carrying dangerous cargo to be banned from the Great Barrier Reef area. “We are just really waiting for a major accident to happen if we keep doing this,” said Don Henry of the Australian Conservation Council. In other disheartening shipping news, an oil tanker smashed into a pier in southeastern Brazil on Saturday, spilling more than 22,000 gallons of oil into the ocean. The tanker is leased by Petrobras, Brazil’s big state-owned oil company, which has already been criticized for a string of oil spills this year.