Nightingale Island Oil Spill

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“Thank God men cannot fly, and lay waste the sky as well as the earth.” – Henry David Thoreau

On March 16, the MV Olivia crashed into Nightingale Island while crossing the Atlantic from Brazil to Singapore. The crash resulted in a spill of 800 tons of fuel spilling into the surrounding waters.

Nightingale Island, part of the Tristan da Cunha group of islands, is home to about 20,000 of the endangered Northern Rockhopper Penguin as well as many other unique species.

Andrew Evans, National Geographic’s “Digital Nomad,” travels all around the world, sharing his stories from around the world. Unfortunately, his stop at Nightingale Island was one filled with sadness. As he said in his blog post, “While this spill is relatively minor in comparison to so many in the world today, it represents a major calamity for the fragile birdlife on pristine Nightingale Island and a heavy blow to the small group of islanders of nearby Tristan da Cunha.”

He went on to say, “Today, I watched as 750 oil-soaked penguins were collected off Nightingale Island and removed to nearby Tristan da Cunha where they will be cleaned with detergent and hot water. I held a dead, oil-stained penguin in my hands, it’s tiny body showing the stress of the spill but also the season itself.”

For the rest of Evans’ post, click here, and for his video update click here. You can also follow all of his travels on twitter at @wheresandrew.

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