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Oil slick heads south to Korea's premier fishing region

Oil slick heads south to Korea's premier fishing region

Seoul: The oil slick from the Hebei Spirit off Korea is now floating near the sea shores of Gunsan, North Jeolla, quickly approaching Cheonsu Bay, a place Koreans call, the "blessed fishery."
11 days after the country's most devastating oil spill occurred on December 7 off the west coast of the peninsula, the thick oil slick has been spreading further south, threatening numerous tourist beaches and rich aquaculture.
Gunsan is located about 120 kilometers (75 miles) southeast of Taean, South Chungcheong, where about 10,000 tons of oil gushed from the Hong Kong-registered oil tanker Hebei Spirit after a South Korean-owned barge came unmoored from its tug and crashed into the tanker in the Yellow Sea.
Cheonsu Bay, an area with a coastline that stretches 284 kilometers (176 miles) with drowned river valleys, is especially famous for its abundant seaweed and nutrients. The location is a home to many profitable fish such as porgies, sea bass, croakers, gray mullets and eels.  
Meanwhile, Samsung, the owner of the barge that smashed into the VLCC, has intimated for the first time that it might shoulder the costs for the huge clean up. The scale of the disaster is estimated at approximately one third of the Exxon Valdez incident off Alaska. [18/12/07]


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