We’ve been giving you coverage of the Chinese Tanker that ran aground on the Great Barrier Reef. New reports show that the oil spill from the tanker may not be the most ecological damaging part of this incident. Dispersants used on the oil have been successful in limiting damage (if you consider a 2 mile oil slick as limiting), however toxic paint is also killing the reef.
As the ship ran aground the reef scraped the paint off of the ship. The paint has caused immediate death to the surrounding corals. The paint which may contain heavy metals and biocides is used to prevent marine life from growing on the ship. This effect may be more widespread and more damaging than the actual running aground. That is quite remarkable considering the fact that the vessel literally flattened the shoal and decimated the reef. In fact a half mile stretch of damage to the reef is big enough that we won’t be surprised if it becomes visible on Google Earth.