The Russian oil tanker had been loaded with about 4,000 tonnes of fuel oil. At least 1,300 tonnes, and probably more, had leaked into the sea, officials reportedly said.
"There is serious concern that the spill will continue," Oleg Mitvol, head of the Russian state environmental safety watchdog was quoted as saying.
Some say the region’s ecosystem could take 10 years to recover. "This is a large accident. I would call it a catastrophe. There are going to be huge consequences for sea life," the Guardian quoted Vladimir Sliviak, co-chairman of the Russian environmental group Ecodefence, as saying.