M/V Treasure

Source of pollution: 
Animals affected
Over 20,000 African penguins admitted for rehabilitation, with 1,957 birds either dying in care or euthanised. 19,500 un-oiled penguins were relocated to protect them from exposure to the oil.
Species affected: 
African penguin
Number of birds released: 
Number of birds into intake: 
International support: 

The International Fund for Animal Welfare provided a majority of the funding for the response and sent the International Bird Rescue (IBR) team to work with SANCCOB and the many international oiled wildlife responders, as well as thousands of volunteers, who came to help.


The bulk ore carrier MV Treasure sank off the coast of South Africa between Robben and Dassen Islands. Dassen Island was home to the largest, and Robben Island the third largest, African penguin colonies in the world.

Amount and type of oiled spilled: 
Over 1,300 tons of bunker oil
Wildlife Response: 

The South African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) initially responded, working with biologists from the islands to transfer the penguins to a facility on the mainland for washing. Over 20,000 birds were admitted for cleaning and another 19,500 were relocated to prevent them becoming oiled.