S. Korean fish farms ruined by oil spill

Dec. 9, 2007 at 9:06 AM

SEOUL, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- Emergency workers say a massive oil spill blackening South Korea's western coast will take at least two months to contain and local fish will be inedible.

Holes in a damaged tanker were sealed Sunday after more than 10,500 tons of oil leaked into the waters off Taean in South Chungcheong province, Yonhap news agency reported.

Just a 100 tons have been collected from the waters by an estimated 6,650 police and soldiers on foot and in 90 ships and six airplanes and helicopters. They have worked since Friday to corral the spill, which is damaging several thousand fish farms and some of the country's most pristine beaches.

"Even if some fish and maritime products survive, they wouldn't be sellable for quite a while," Kang Moo-hyun, minister of maritime affairs and fisheries, told reporters.

The tanker was punctured Friday in a collision with a crane aboard a barge. The oil spill is the largest in South Korea's history.

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