Prestige oil spill, France, 2003

Prestige oil spill, France, 2003

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Credit: PASCAL LE DOARE/EURELIOS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Prestige oil spill. Workers cleaning a beach in February 2003 following the sinking of the oil tanker Prestige on 19 November 2002. Over 64,000 tons of fuel oil were released by the initial sinking, and oil continued to leak from the wreck after it sunk. The oil spill devastated the Galician coastline of Spain, and also affected the south-western coast of France. Oil is toxic to wildlife and takes a long time to break down naturally. It can remain on beaches for months or years, unless it is removed by humans. This beach is at Hossegor, on the coast of Aquitaine, France.

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