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Organising the response

After the panic of the first few days, the response action became more organised. Offshore, the use of sinking agents and dispersants as well as changes in wind direction kept oil slicks from spreading beyond Brehat island.
Beach clean-up operations were composed of two stages: the first step involved pumping the oil which was still liquid, and the second involved clearing the polluted waste. In total, more than 100,000 tonnes of “chocolate mousse” and other waste were collected and a large part of solid waste was neutralised with quicklime.

As far as professional activities were concerned, the first people affected were the 1,300 fishermen of the maritime districts of Brest, Morlaix and Paimpol. A fishing ban was imposed from the day of the spill to the end of April. The oyster-farming industry was also affected as oysters from polluted areas were no longer edible and had to be destroyed. The only thing fishermen on foot could do was observe the damage. The tourism industry was concerned for their summer season. The public services for maritime affairs set up financial aid for the fishermen and shellfish breeders concerned.

Last update on 20/02/2008
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