World: Oil Spill in Brazil Hits Breeding Grounds for Humpback Whales - - PressFrom - US
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World Oil Spill in Brazil Hits Breeding Grounds for Humpback Whales

22:55  03 november  2019
22:55  03 november  2019 Source:   bloomberg.com

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FILE - In this Jan. 23, 2005 file photo, a humpback whale leaps out of the water in the channel off the town of Lahaina on the island of Maui in Hawaii. Over the past several years researchers have noticed a decline in the number of North Pacific humpback whales showing up in their traditional breeding grounds around Hawaii.While scientists say it's too early to draw any conclusions about the baffling phenomena, the decline has sparked enough concern that a consortium of whale experts will meet this week in Honolulu to compare data and hopefully get a better sense of what's happening. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, file)© AP FILE - In this Jan. 23, 2005 file photo, a humpback whale leaps out of the water in the channel off the town of Lahaina on the island of Maui in Hawaii. Over the past several years researchers have noticed a decline in the number of North Pacific humpback whales showing up in their traditional breeding grounds around Hawaii.While scientists say it's too early to draw any conclusions about the baffling phenomena, the decline has sparked enough concern that a consortium of whale experts will meet this week in Honolulu to compare data and hopefully get a better sense of what's happening. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, file) (Bloomberg) -- The mysterious oil spill that hit Brazil’s coastline two months ago has reached the archipelago of Abrolhos, a national marine park that’s home to the greatest biodiversity in the southern Atlantic Ocean -- the waters where humpback whales migrate to breed.

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Defense Minister Fernando Azevedo e Silva flew over the five islands that comprise Abrolhos park located off the southern coast of Bahia in the northeast of Brazil on Sunday to monitor the impact. Small fragments of oil were spotted in some locations, Brazil’s Navy said on Saturday. The oil also threatens Abrolhos’ highly sensitive coral reefs.

The spill and its impact have put Brazil back in the spotlight for environmental disasters, just as the country is preparing for the world’s priciest oil auction on Wednesday. In August, fires in the Amazon rainforest sparked an international backlash against President Jair Bolsonaro, a social conservative who supports developing natural resources in the region. That came after more than 240 died after a dam owned by iron ore producer Vale SA collapsed in January.

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Oil began washing up along Brazil’s beaches on Aug. 30, tainting popular tourist spots, killing sea turtles and scaring off fishermen. The spill has affected one third of Brazil’s coastline, or about 1,400 miles (2250 kilometers), with authorities collecting 4,000 tons of oil from the beaches.

The initial location of the spill hasn’t been identified, though Brazil’s Federal Police said the crude came from a Greek-flagged ship with an 80,000-ton capacity. The Greek company has denied the leaks, while state-owned Petrobras said its lab analysis showed the crude originated from three Venezuelan fields.

Authorities have struggled to clean up the spill with floating equipment as the oil is so heavy that it’s been moving underwater. Oil stains have been spotted by divers on the seabed.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sabrina Valle in Rio de Janeiro at svalle@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Simon Casey at scasey4@bloomberg.net, Linus Chua, Ros Krasny

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Brazilian families spent weeks in tent-like border facility, far longer than typical .
Before their deportation, about 50 parents and children, including babies, were kept there by U.S. officials.

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