[WILD_SEAS] Australia to review rules on ships near coral reef

From: wildnet (wildnet@ecoterra.net)
Date: Tue Nov 07 2000 - 09:05:47 EST


Australia to review rules on ships near coral reef

AUSTRALIA: November 7, 2000

CANBERRA - Australia will review controls over shipping within the World
Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef after a Malaysian container ship
carrying dangerous cargo ran aground last week.
Transport Minister John Anderson said yesterday the review would examine
how to „strengthen ship safety and protection of the marine
environment“.
The 184-metre (600-ft) Bunga Teratai Satu was carrying about 130 tonnes
of dangerous cargo when it hit Sudbury Reef, 50 km (30 miles) east of
Cairns in Australia‘s tropical north, last Thursday.
The 21,000 deadweight tonne vessel damaged about 50 metres (164 feet) of
coral reef.
Anderson said there had been calls for ships to be banned from the inner
reef shipping route, which extends north-south between the reef and the
coast of Queensland.
But these appeals failed to recognise that up to 80 percent of ships
using the more sheltered inner route were trading with Queensland ports,
he said.
Anderson said the review would examine the issue of extending the
internationally recognised compulsory pilotage area currently covering
the more demanding navigation areas of the inner route.
The other main shipping route along Australia‘s northeast coast is
through open sea east of the reef.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park covers the biggest coral structure in
the world, extending almost 2,000 km (1,250 miles) from near Papua New
Guinea down Australia‘s northeast coast.

REUTERS NEWS SERVICE

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