Experts urged to ratify Minamata Convention to phase out mercury-added products পারদযুক্ত পণ্যের ব্যবহার বন্ধে মিনামাতা কনভেনশন অনুমোদনের আহ্বান সেন্টমার্টিন সৈকতে প্লাস্টিকের আগ্রাসন 72 birds die eating pesticide-treated masakalai Educate girls to save the planet শিশুর সর্দি-কাশি সারানোর ঘরোয়া উপায় 50 Books All Kids Should Read Before They’re 12 24 thousand under 5 children die of pneumonia in Bangladesh annually গ্রিনহাউস গ্যাস কমানোর লক্ষ্যে নানা উদ্যোগ Maldives: Eco-friendly product export destination for Bangladesh

From the archive: the Torrey Canyon oil spill disaster of 1967

How the Guardian reported the grounding of the Torrey Canyon supertanker and what was then the world’s worst oil spill. On 18 March 1967, the Torrey Canyon, one of the world’s biggest tankers, ran aground between Land’s End and the Isles of Scilly, leaking more than 100,000 tonnes of crude oil into the sea. It was the UK’s worst oil spill to date, causing major environmental damage with more than 20,000 sea birds contaminated. The first Guardian report about the disaster appeared on 20 March. A week later, and with the wrecked tanker continuing to leak oil into the sea from its fractured tanks, a desperate search began for ways to avert an environmental disaster. Scientists and technologists at the oil disaster operations centre at Plymouth are desperately sifting ideas which might avert a major coastal catastrophe. But there is no hope of any sudden change in the pattern of the defensive procedure. The 1,200-yard long boom of large polyurathene blocks, which might be used round the wreck, is being assembled at Devonport, where it will be fitted with an underwater skirt and a containing net. Six 250-foot lengths of shallow, anti-submarine boom, light enough to be towed by small boats, have been fitted with hessian panels and are deployed as sweepers in the rivers Fal and Helford to protect oyster beds. There are 300,000 gallons of oil dispersant in stock, mainly held in readiness by the Navy, and another 77,000 gallons have been distributed to local authorities. Working under emergency conditions, the Services are adapting equipment – from pumps to scoops – which might be brought into use. Sweeping the sea: Among the 150 or so ideas that have come forward from the public, the majority of them concerned with lifting the wreck, or providing sweeps and booms, the idea for a shallow polythene device put forward in yesterday’s “Guardian” is among a handful which will be tested. There is little doubt that once the oil has escaped from the region of the wreck the only way to prevent coastal damage is to sweep the sea. Although oil on the high seas has been a potential hazard for more than half a century, no one has seriously considered the practical problems involved in a major spillage, nor taken steps to design and test devices.

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