Tubbataha Reef Incident Not Yet Settled

Written by on January 6, 2014 in Policy & Ocean Law

In January 2013, the USS Guardian ran aground on an atoll of the Tubbataha Reef off the Philippines. The reef is a World Heritage Site and is home to several endangered species. Because no oil leaked from the ship, the damage beyond the actual collision site was limited, but still serious.

USS Guardian ran aground in Tubbataha Reef on January 17, 2013.

USS Guardian ran aground in Tubbataha Reef on January 17, 2013. Photo credit: U.S. Pacific Fleet via photopin cc.

Initially only the ship’s bow hit the reef but waves pushed the entire ship onto the reef, damaging more than 2,300 square meters of protected reef.

The ship was removed in four sections over the following three months. Now, nearly a year later, the US government has not yet paid the fine imposed by the Philippines for the damage. The fine totaled P58.3 million (US$ 1.3 million), according to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

But, a US official says that the Philippines has not formally requested settlement of the damage. It is up to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to make arrangements with the US to pay the fine. Discussions between the DFA, the Philippines and the US are ongoing.

You can read more about the settlement at the Inquirer: US has not paid Tubbataha fine.

Copyright © 2013 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of MarineScienceToday.com. She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .

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