Prestige case €2.2 billion in environmental damages at stake


On November 19 2002 the vessel Prestige broke in two and sank 138 nautical miles off the Spanish coast, spilling 63,000 tons of fuel oil into the sea. The accident severely polluted 2,980 kilometres of shoreline, 1,137 beaches and 450,000 square metres of cliff areas. An estimated 115,000 to 230,000 sea birds died and 526 tons of fuel oil leaked into the depths of the Spanish continental shelf. The spillage affected all marine ecosystems and a high concentration of aromatic hydrocarbons infiltrated the biota.