To give succour to those affected by the huge slick from the oil tanker Prestige, Morocco has temporarily lifted its ban on Spanish fishing boats. The move should ease the strained relations between the nations. And for Galician fisherfolk, it is a timely respite.The vessel sank in the coastal waters of northwest Spain in November 2002.
The oil spill threatens the rich marine and bird life in the area. Experts fear it could be years before certain species and habitats recover. Volunteers found 18 species of seabirds affected by the slick. These included gulls and gannets, many of them migratory species. The threat to the Balearic shearwater (Puffinus auretanicus), already facing extinction, is of utmost concern.
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