Around 120 kilos of shipping fuel has been scraped up off the Spanish Gran Canaria tourist beaches Veneguera, Tasarte and Taurito, the government said on Thursday, after a Russian fuel-laden ship sank off the coast last week.
The situation on the beaches would worsen over the next few days, the environmentalist group Greenpeace warned in a separate statement.
The Russian vessel Oleg Naydenov, carrying 1,409 tonnes of fuel oil, sank late on Tuesday 15 nautical miles south of Gran Canaria, and is currently leaking 5 - 10 litres of fuel into the sea per hour, according to the Spanish government.
The Public Works Ministry has sent a robot submarine down to the wreckage, some 2.4 kilometres deep, to see if the three known leaks in the hull of the ship can be sealed, the government said.
(Reporting by Paul Day; Editing by Toby Chopra)