​Oil Pollution in Fuerteventura Cleaned with Microorganisms Canary Islands Report | Canary Islands Report

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​Oil Pollution in Fuerteventura Cleaned with Microorganisms

Oil Pollution in Fuerteventura Cleaned with Microorganisms

The Government of the Canary Islands has begun to implement a bioremediation plan designed to clean the oil pollution suffered in the port of Gran Tarajal in Fuerteventura following the recent winter storms when many boats were sunk, as these harmless microorganisms feed on hydrocarbons and eliminate them from the water.

The Ministry of Planning explained this week that these microorganisms have been distributed by a ramp and vertical walls of the dock and with the help of a boat to the outer area and jetty.

This bioremediation plan was designed by Jesus Cisneros, professor at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and an expert in marine pollution with the collaboration of the Vice-Ministry of the Environment to contain the current environmental damage.

These colonies of microorganisms grow as they consume hydrocarbons, first the lighter ones, such as diesel fuel, and then the heavier oils and compounds, and then die when all the hydrocarbons they feed off disappear. They develop the first part of their life cycle in the surface layer of the water and as the surface becomes clean, they go down to the bottom to continue feeding on the fuel and oil that could be in the sediment layers of the sea bed.

The Canarian Government claims that this entire process is totally innocuous for marine species, and it expects that within 24 hours and 48 hours its effectiveness could be assessed.

These microorganisms arrived in Gran Tarajal this week from Barcelona in a lyophilised culture medium that dissolved 3000 litres of seawater previously heated between 24ªC and 28ºC.

After six hours, the microorganisms were already active and distributed through the port areas with two technicians from the manufacturing company who travelled to Fuerteventura to supervise this bioremediation plan.

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