Giant Oil Slick on Alagoas Beach Threatens Manatee Sanctuary

Oil slick is the largest off the coast of Alagoas since the beginning of the environmental crisis in September

Carlos Madeiro

An extensive oil slick appeared overnight Tuesday (15), affecting a strip of beach approximately 200 meters long in Japaratinga, north coast of Alagoas.

An overflight made by Ibama (Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Resources) revealed that there are also several points of the beach with the material, including the manatee sanctuary in Porto de Pedras.

According to Rivaldo Couto dos Santos Júnior, the head of Ibama's Technical-Environmental Division in Alagoas, this is the largest spot on the Alagoas coast since the beginning of the environmental crisis in early September.

"We are at low tide, and much of the municipality of Japaratinga is spotted. This largest spot should be about 200 meters long. We are already removing, with several people helping, with loaders, buckets," he said.

In Porto de Pedras, there is a conservation project to protect manatees, an endangered species.

Japaratinga, in Alagoas - Instituto do Meio Ambiente de Alagoas / Divulgação


At least 22 tons of oil were removed in Salvador (BA) in eight hours over a kilometer, from Pituba beach to Jardim dos Namorados. The oil spots also reached the beaches of Jardim de Alá, and Boca do Rio.

Between Thursday (10) last week, when the first traces of oil began to emerge, and Tuesday (15), the city had removed only 37 pounds of fossil fuel. The beaches of Flamengo, Stella Mares, Piatã and Jaguaribe were the first affected.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

Read the article in the original language