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A year later: first consequences

By autumn 1978, almost no visible trace of the pollution remained. While winter storms were finishing the cleaning, authorities, scientists, ecologists, fishing and tourism professionals began to draw up the balance sheet of the oil slick related expenditures.
 In November 1979 an initial assessment of the damages was carried out at a conference: between 19,000 and 37,000 dead birds, 6,400 tonnes of oysters destroyed, seaweed and shellfish harvests severely damaged, a long lasting ban on fishing, a bad tourist season. But even worst than these short-term damages, the experts' main concern was for the future: How would nature find its normal balance again?

 An important series of measures was taken in an attempt to avoid another disaster. At the same time, the French state and the local authorities, willing to make the polluter pay, took legal action in the United States against the Amoco company, a 14-years long adventure.

Portsall beach, one year on: sand castles and bathing
Portsall beach, one year on: sand castles and bathing
Last update: 20/02/2008