A thought for marine life

A California state jury has directed the owner of a tanker that spilled 76.4 million litres of oil in 1990 near two popular beaches in the US state to pay US $18 million for damages caused by the closing of the beaches. In what lawyers called an unprecedented verdict, the jury ruled that Attransco, owner of the tanker, owed the state and coastal cities of Newport Beach and Huntington Beach US $12.8 million for the five weeks the beaches were closed in 1990. Interestingly, Attransco will have to pay US $5.3 million for harming plankton and other tiny sea creatures that lived along the 22.5-km coastline damaged by the spill. Environmentalists were pleased that the damages went beyond the beach clean-up and extended to marine life destruction. The tanker spilled 400,000 barrels of crude oil after it ran over its own anchor.

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