In 1998, twenty years after the disaster, the last ecological studies showed remaining traces of imbalances in certain benthic populations in the most affected bays. However, for the fishing and tourism industries and for other economic activities, the oil spill was nothing more than a distant memory. Considerable concern had been expressed about long-term effects on certain species, the development of cancer in surviving animals, a decrease in their reproduction capacities and a weakening of generations born after the spill. However scientific monitoring programmes did not confirm such hypotheses in these domains. A large number of complex effects were observed, which were difficult to interpret and could not be solely attributed to the Amoco Cadiz pollution, as other factors also affected the shoreline economic and ecological equilibrium year after year.
Other oil spills had occurred, tourist demands had evolved, fishing techniques and priorities had changed, pollution from urban areas and farms had appeared in water basins and on the coastline. The wreck of the Amoco Cadiz had become home to fish and crustaceans and a place for experienced divers to explore. Tourists visiting Portsall had their photo taken in front of the vessel’s anchor, which sits on the harbourside as a lasting symbol. The Amoco Cadiz oil spill had become a part of history.
In 2008, thirty years after the disaster, the memory of the Amoco Cadiz had been eclipsed for many by more recent memories of the Erika and the Prestige. The protagonist in the Amoco case were leaving the professional scene one after the other. Their voices were becoming increasingly distant. And yet the story they had to tell remains astonishingly relevant today.
Cedre therefore decided to publish "Amoco Cadiz, mémoires vives", a collection of interviews with the most emblematic of these veterans of the Amoco Cadiz.