Kupang, E Nusa Tenggara(ANTARA News) - The East Nusa Tenggara Marine and Fishery Office is still calculating the total value of material losses owing to environmental damages caused by the oil tanker Ocean Princess` oil spill, according to a government official.

"Our team has evaluated the harm caused to our marine life, but the total amount of material losses remains to be calculated with experts at the related ministry," Head of the East Nusa Tenggara Marine and Fishery Office Ganef Wurgiyanto stated here on Monday.

The oil tanker Ocean Princess ran aground in the vicinity waters off Aemoli Village in Alor District on December 22, 2018, causing extensive damages to the vessel and affecting the marine life in the Pantar Strait and its surrounding waters.

The final value of material losses, currently being calculated by the authorities of the East Nusa Tenggara Marine and Fishery Office and Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry in Jakarta, will be submitted to the oil tanker`s owner.

Hence, the Indonesian government can discharge the corporate for the environmental losses in accordance with existing regulations without trial by considering that the grounding was categorized as an accident, Wurgiyanto noted.

Findings of the office`s team members recently deployed to the ship-grounding site indicate that the marine life and coral reef degradation were obvious.

According to the evaluation team head, Saleh Goro, a total of 28 spots of coral reefs and a coral reef colony, measuring 10 x 130 centimeters in diameter, were extensively damaged by the grounding of the tanker carrying diesel fuel from Timor Leste to Singapore.

The ill-fated vessel sailing under the Cook Islands flag from the Timor Leste City of Dili to Singapore ran aground in the vicinity waters off Alor Island of Alor District, East Nusa Tenggara Province, on Friday, December 22, 2018.

Carrying 18 crew members onboard, the tanker`s skipper is identified as Ahira Sroyer. The ill-fated ship had recently been moved from the grounding site, but as of January 19, 2019, it had yet to be permitted to depart from East Nusa Tenggara Province.

"We have coordinated with the Kalahabi Port authorities, so that Ocean Princess is issued a sailing or departure permit only after the tanker`s owner issues a letter of undertaking," Goro noted.

Reporting by Bernadus Tokan, Rahmad Nasution


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