The Conservation Society of Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia says the environmental impacts of a stranded fishing vessel in its reef could be disastrous.
A Kiribati-flagged Chinese vessel, Ping Da 7, became stuck on the reef on December the 11th, carrying substantial amounts of dangerous fuels, gas and chemicals, and has been leaking oil.
The Conservation Society's Marine Programme Manager, Jorg Anson, says as well as the threat of leaking oil, the ship has badly scarred the reef.
"Usually it takes years and years for such areas to recover, because ship hulls are usually painted with anti-fouling paint. Studies have shown areas where there are concentrations of anti-fouling paints, recruitment, growth and even rebirth options are almost impossible."
Jorg Anson says as the vessel has not yet been removed, it does not know what the full environmental impacts of the wreck will be.