Oil spill discovered in Sydney rec fishing haven

FOLLOWING periods of wild weather and torrential rain in Sydney yesterday it has been reported that a large oil spill has been discovered in Botany Bay, a recreational fishing haven situated in the city’s south. 

Fisho was alerted to the spill by Malcolm Poole of the NSW Recreational Fishing Alliance.

Poole says the Alliance and local fishing clubs are greatly concerned by the spill’s discovery which is believed to have originated from the Caltex refinery at Kurnell – the site of a similar contamination leak in July last year.

It has been reported that local fishos spread the news of the spill yesterday afternoon after sighting the slick and smelling an extreme fuel odour in the air across lower Botany Bay. 

Anglers gathered on the northern shores of the bay and became increasingly concerned as they took photos and noticed there was a lack of on water emergency response oil spill units from Caltex and the Ports Authority.

It has been reported the oil/fuel spill was sighted stretching from the Caltex Oil Wharf across the Bay around Bare Island and into Congwong Bay and around the northern headland.

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Boats assess the spill yesterday. Image: Stan Konstantaras

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Image: Stan Konstantaras

Witnesses saw the first Ports Oil Spill Response boat appear late in the afternoon and was then joined by two Caltex boats which reportedly drove around assessing the extent of the oil spill.

People gathered on the northern shoreline watched as the oil spill washed up on the local beaches, the white sand covered with an increasing oily scum and sludge.

As night set in the vessels were seen to leave the spill area and head back to base, and it is believed there was no further action overnight. 

While it has been reported on ground emergency services have been kept busy today cleaning up the spill on land, only one boat has been sighted setting up booms to contain the oil spill. 

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Oil washing up on the shores of Botany Bay. Image: Stan Konstantaras

Meanwhile, the ABC has confirmed heavy rain led to the oil spill from the Caltex oil refinery at Kurnell. Caltex says it is working with the Sydney Ports Corporation to contain and disperse what it describes as a small oil release.

The company says all relevant authorities have been notified about the spill.


Photo taken today by Chris Anagnostou.

Stay tuned for updates of any further developments.

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