THE marine environmental organisation Oceana yesterday demanded that the European Directive be “strictly” applied against the dumping of oil at sea as has been seen last week in the Port of Palma. The European director of Oceana, Xavier Pastor, demanded that “an exhaustive investigation be launched to determine without a shadow of a doubt the origin, causes, and those responsible for the dumping, so that the law can be applied rigorously”. Oceana started a pressure campaign to get this European legislation, which criminalises these situations, approved, once their investigations led them to discover that oil dumped, from the cleaning out of tanks or leaking from them due either to negligence or insufficient maintenance on the boats, represents 75 percent of the oil dumped in the sea worldwide. According to this organisation, serious accidents like the sinking of the Prestige, the Erika, or the Exxon Valdez”, in spite of their high profile, are only responsible for a quarter of the oil contaminating the oceans. The routine dumping of oil, which is causing a chronic pollution of the seas is due, basically, to many ships and boats. However, they said, this routine dumping doesn't receive the attention of the media. Oceana said that the European Directive establishes that illegal dumping of oil at sea is a criminal offence.