14,000 litres of Poole Harbour spill recovered as shellfish sales advice issued

AROUND 14,000 litres of an oil and water mix that leaked into Poole Harbour at the weekend has been recovered.

Clean-up and assessment work after the spill, which happened on Sunday morning (March 26), is continuing 24 hours a day, spanning 100km of shoreline.

The Poole Harbour Commissioners (PHC) said work so far had seen 1,500kg of oil sediment recovered, along with around 14,000 litres of oil/water mix.

“We would like to thank again the strategic co-ordination group (SCG), including Dorset Police, Dorset Council, Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole Council, NHS, Environment Agency and Natural England,” said PHC CEO, Jime Stewart.

“This is an excellent example of multi-agency collaboration in response to a major incident.”

Meanwhile, the shellfish industry has been advised not to market shellfish harvested from Poole Harbour in the days after the leak, which came from the Wytch Farm Oilfield, the largest onshore oil field in the UK, run by Anglo-French firm, Perenco.

“This advice will remain in place until further assessment has been made and advice has been received from the Food Standards Agency and the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) regarding safety,” Mr Stewart added.

“Investigations are continuing at this time.”

He said people are still advised not to use Poole Harbour for recreational purposes – including the hand gathering of shellfish – and continue to avoid bathing at beaches within Poole Harbour until further notice.

“We continue to ask that members of the public do not try and help with the clean-up at Poole Harbour, specialist trained teams are working hard on the ground,” Mr Stewart said.

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