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Indonesians Contradict Australian Claims Oil Spill Doing Little Harm

Australian Environment Minister says that the month-and-a-half-long oil spill in the TImor Sea has had minimal impact on area wildlife and is still 100 kilometers from the nearest Indonesian shore. Indonesians are telling a different story.

offshore oil rigAccording to Indonesian fishermen, the oil slick is 20 miles from the shore of their country. That’s just over 32 kilometers. They also report seeing large numbers of dead animals, including fish floating on the surface and marine mammals. One fisherman reports that his catch of red kakaps (a large kind of fish that is one of the species called “red snapper” in English) has diminished to just 5 percent of his ordinary catch.

These aren’t groundless assertions either. The fishermen have collected water samples and have taken photographs of the slick, according to the Jakarta Post. However, the Indonesian Navy denies that seeing oil in the area.

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