China sends surveillance ships for oil spills

China’s Agriculture Ministry has reportedly sent two surveillance ships to assess the environmental effects of an oil spill from an Iranian tanker that sank in Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

The tanker was carrying about 140,000 tons of ultra-light crude when it collided with a Chinese cargo vessel off the coast of Shanghai in the East China Sea on January 6th.

The burning tanker drifted before sinking in waters roughly 315 kilometers west of Amami Oshima Island in Japan’s southwestern prefecture of Kagoshima.

The oil spill from the tanker has reportedly split into 4 separate slicks covering an area of more than 100 square kilometers.

Shanghai’s Dragon Television reported on Thursday that the two surveillance vessels had left a port in China’s eastern province of Zhejiang.

The TV channel reported that the ships will spend about a week to collect samples of marine life and seabed mud while moving from the collision site to where the tanker sank.

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