A senior expert on sea issues has warned there is a need to develop an oil spill response plan in accordance with geographical zones to enable specialized agencies to coordinate local resources in dealing with potential problems.

As many as 100 cases of spilled oil in Vietnam’s sea areas have been reported since 1987, the cause of which was not identified in 50 percent of cases.

The spills reportedly occurred most often in March and April in the central region, and in May and June in the northern region.

Between March and June 2007, there was a large-scale spill of unidentified cause that spread across the sea zones of 20 of Vietnam’s coastal provinces, from central Ha Tinh southward.

Experts estimate that the volume of spill oil was nearly 5,000 tonnes, and just 2,000 tonnes were cleaned.

At present, the National Committee for Search and Rescue, and the northern, central and southern oil spill response centres are responsible for responding to spills.

Coastal provinces have taken part in response efforts, with central Ba Ria-Vung Tau having recently built its own oil spill response centre./.