Greenpeace to pay fine for damaging reef
MANILA (Reuters) - Greenpeace said Tuesday it will pay nearly $7,000 in damages after the environmental group's flagship, the Rainbow Warrior II, hit a coral reef at a world heritage site in the southern Philippines.
The accident Monday was "very regrettable," Greenpeace said in a joint statement with the Tubbataha National Marine Park, but it laid some of the blame on maritime charts showing its ship was 1.5 miles from the reef.
Officials from the marine park assessed the area of damaged reef at 96 square metres (113 square yards) and valued it at 384,000 pesos.
"This accident could have been avoided if the chart was accurate," Red Constantino of Greenpeace Southeast Asia said in the statement. "We feel responsible, however, and this amount will be transferred Wednesday."
The visit to the reefs in the Sulu Sea was part of a four-month tour by the Rainbow Warrior II to Australia, China, the Philippines and Thailand to raise awareness about global warming and promote renewable energy.
The ship suffered no serious damage while briefly running aground, Greenpeace said.
The area of the maritime park is designated as a world heritage site by the United Nations.