Maritime Safety Queensland spokesman, Patrick Quirk, says the island is the second largest coral cay on the reef and home to key nesting grounds for seabirds and turtles.
“The oil hasn’t come ashore in large globules or carpets – that gives us some comfort. But we will need to get our specialist beach clean-up experts and they will report to us immediately what’s there and if needed we will fly out more people.”, Mr Quirk says.
Capricorn Conservation Council spokesman Ian Herbert says the pollution of North West Island is tragic. “It’s habitat for a huge variety of marine life – turtle hatchlings are there at the moment, nesting birds,” he said.