Fresh attempts to remove toxic chemical from Clipperton Island ship

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Posted by on March 04, 2010 at 19:27:44:

In Reply to: Xylene Tanker runs aground on Clipperton Island posted by on March 01, 2010 at 17:16:11:

A naval mission sent by the French High Commission in French Polynesia is attempting to remove tanks of a toxic chemical from a ship aground on Clipperton Island.

The Maltese registered boat has been stranded on the uninhabitated atoll 1,000 kilometres south west of Mexico since February 10.

Several efforts to tow it away have failed and earlier this week, the navy began unloading the crates of soy sauce and animal oil on board.

However, efforts to deal with the 10,000 tonnes of xylene on board are continuing and environmentalists have raised concerns that a spill could threaten the island's endemic wildlife.

Dr Ross Robertson a staff biologist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, has visited the island on two occasions and says he's particularly concerned for the birds.

"It's got the largest booby colony of its type in the world and I would imagine 10,000 tonnes of xylene being released could easily kill everything," he said.

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