VLADIVOSTOK, October 20 (RIA Novosti) – The governor of Russia's southeasternmost Primorye region in the western Pacific has urged the federal government to ban at-sea refueling for ships after several spills raised environmental concerns, the regional authority said Monday.
Gov. Vladimir Miklushevsky said an oil spill measuring 150 by 200 meters (492 by 656 feet) was found on October 11 in a bay close to Chinese and North Korean waters. The spill was caused by a rupture in a refueling hose. A similar incident back in June led to a criminal investigation that can land those responsible in jail for four months.
Miklushevsky said his administration was worried that spills caused by careless high-seas refueling operations seemed to become a frequent sight in that maritime area.
"The damage was not serious, fortunately, but I'd like to ask the government to ban at-sea bunkering because it's not safe," the governor stressed.
The Primorye region is located between the Sea of Japan to the east and northeastern China to the west, and serves as Russia's gateway to the region's busy shipping lanes.