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.
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.