Minor oil spill clears off Dibba

A minor oil spill near the shores of Dibba in Fujairah appears to be clearing with only a thin sheen still seen left.

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A minor oil spill near the shores of Dibba in Fujairah earlier this week appeared to be clearing yesterday. Swimmers reported being covered in the oil on Tuesday. But it looked to have dispersed yesterday, with only a thin sheen of oil on the surface of the water. "When I went swimming, it was all over me. It was all the way down the coast," said Khalid Obaid, from Sharm. He added he first saw the oil on Sunday.

Andrew Jubber, the manager of Freestyle Divers at the Royal Beach Hotel and Resort, said on Tuesday: "The beach is black. It [the oil] is quite thick." An official at Dibba Municipality said the spill was small and was contained quickly by staff at Dibba Port. The area is frequently affected by small-scale oil pollution, usually discharged by vessels that clean their oil tanks and flush the effluent illegally in the ocean. Authorities have argued the violations are hard to police as they usually happen in international waters.

No one knows how this small-scale but frequent oil pollution is affecting the UAE's east coast. "This kind of research is quite rare," said Christophe Tourenq, science and research manager at the Emirates Wildlife Society - World Wide Fund for Nature.