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Norway battles to contain oil slick after tanker is grounded

Norwegian experts are battling to minimize the threat posed to valuable marine habitats after an oil tanker ran into a rock between Norway and Sweden. Floating barriers were put in place as oil reached the shoreline.

The Godafoss, stranded at sea

The ship became lodged on a rock on its journey to Sweden

Norwegian authorities are struggling to contain the threat posed to a protected marine habitat after an oil tanker ran into a rock while at sea late on Thursday.

Oil from the Icelandic vessel Godafoss, believed to contain some 800 metric tons of fuel, had reached a stretch of shoreline on Friday morning, the Norwegian Coastal Association (NCA) said in a statement.

The incident happened on the Skagerrak channel of water, between Norway and Sweden. Experts fear that the leaking oil poses a risk to the Ytre Hvaler park - Norway's only national marine nature reserve - as well as Sweden's Kosterhavet protected marine area.

Optimism over clean-up

Environmental protection teams and NCA tugboats were called in to assess the threat, with floating barriers set up to limit the spread of the oil. Calm sea and moderate winds on Friday meant that weather conditions were considered favorable to a clean-up.

The ship had been heading from the southeastern Norwegian town of Fredrikstad to the southern Swedish town of Helsingborg.

Ytre Hvaler, which stretches across 354 square kilometers (137 square miles), is home to diverse sea birds and marine life as well as delicate coral reefs.

Author: Richard Connor (AFP, dpa)
Editor: Andreas Illmer

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