IMO regional pollution centre (REMPEC) assists with oil spill incident in Israel

The IMO-administered Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC) is assisting the competent authorities of Israel with technical expertise regarding the beaching of a large quantities of tar balls on the Israeli shoreline.  

The cause of the pollution is yet to be identified. As of 23 February 2021, 1,000m3 of tar balls have already been collected.   

REMPEC is supporting the identification of the source of the pollution by obtaining information from satellite images from Maritime Support Service (EMSA). So far, 10 vessels have been found to have been in the vicinity of the possible original position of the spill and the investigation continues.   

The Centre has also invited neighbouring countries to report any pollution in the last three weeks. No pollution has been reported by countries who responded.   

The REMPEC Mediterranean Assistance Unit (MAU) is working to assess the potential impact to neighbouring countries. This will be done using the results of forecasting model from the Mediterranean Operational Network for the Global Ocean Observing System (MONGOOS), a Member of the MAU.   

The Centre is also in contact with the Lebanese Competent Authorities, following reports of pollution of the Lebanese shoreline.