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Ecological Disaster Continues

The tanker Prestige continues to leak heavy, black fuel oil...

The tanker Prestige continues to leak heavy, black fuel oil that is devastating parts of the Spanish coast.

The fuel oil hemorrhaging from the Prestige has already shut down most of the fishing and seafood industry along the Galician coast and has thrown thousands of people out of work. Northern Portugal has also been affected.

The crew of a high-tech French submarine, the Nautile, managed to plug or patch eight of the cracks or holes in the 26-year-old Prestige. But there are still a dozen other holes in the single-hulled ship that are leaking an estimated 21,000 gallons of fuel oil each day, about a third of what was leaking before the patching, according to rescue officials and environmentalists.

French officials, local business leaders and environmental groups are calling the spill a catastrophe.