(From Lloyds List)
RUMBLINGS of alarm in Algeciras after the regional Andalucian parliament backed a call for an environmental tax to be levied on vessels calling at the Spanish port.
The proposal comes after a number of minor oil spills this summer forced officials to close beaches on more than one occasion while clean-up operations were carried out.
The debate over pollution has taken on a life of its own, fuelled by political agendas and a media appetite for big attention-grabbing headlines and pictures of oiled beaches.
Local maritime observers were horrified at the thought of new charges on shipowners calling at the port, warning that such a scheme is unnecessary and could push traffic to other ports in the region.
They add that pollution is often caused by vessels that come nowhere near the port itself …