Mon, 22 May 2000

Fishermen want oil-spill money

CILACAP, Central Java: Local fishermen demanded on Friday Rp 80.2 billion in compensation for the oil spill caused by an oil spill from tanker MT King Fisher off Cilacap on April 1.

"We demand the state-owned oil and gas company Pertamina and related parties responsible in the oil spill pay for the environmental damage and the economic losses," fishermen's coordinator Atas Munandar told a hearing with Minister of Maritime Exploration Sarwono Kusumaatmadja here.

"Since the oil spill, the sea is polluted with crude oil and we cannot fish for at least six months to eight months."

The tanker was bound for a Pertamina oil refinery in Cilacap when it struck a rock about one kilometer from the dock. The resulting leak led to an estimated 4,000 barrels of oil spilling into the sea.

Sarwono promised to channel the fishermen's demands, vowing to find them "a good lawyer to handle such a big case". (45/edt)