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Alberto Teodori, 49, who said he has been hired as a skipper for the yachts of Rome’s VIPs for 30 years, noted that the area thrives on tourism in the spring and summer and survives on fishing in the offseason.

If the Concordia’s fuel, “thick as tar,” should pollute the sea, “Giglio will be dead for 10, 15 years,” Teodori fretted, as workers nearby shellacked the hull of an aging fishing boat.

The international ocean-advocacy group, Oceana, on Thursday, described the national marine park as an “ecological diamond,” favored by divers for its great variety of species.

“If the pollution gets into the water, we are ruined,” said Raffaella Manno, who with her husband runs a portside counter selling fresh local fish in Porto Santo Stefano, a nearby town where ferries and hydrofoils depart for Giglio.

A wholesaler as well, she said fish from the archipelago’s waters is prized throughout Italy for its quality and variety.

“The water is clean and the reefs are rich” for fish to feed, she said, as trucks carrying oil-removal equipment waited to board ferries Wednesday to Giglio. “The priciest markets in Italy come here to buy, from Milan, Turin, even Naples.”

Concordia’s captain, initially jailed and then put in house arrest in his hometown near Naples, is suspected of having deliberately deviated from the ship’s route, miles off shore, to hug Giglio’s reef-studded coastline in order to perform a kind of “salute” to amuse passengers and islanders.

The maneuver is apparently a common practice by cruise ships, environmentalists lament.

“These salutes are an established practice by the big cruise ships,” said Francesco Emilio Borrelli, a Green party official from Naples. He said that the Greens have received reports of numerous such sightings by ships sailing by the Naples area islands of Capri, Ischia and Procida.

Even before the Concordia tragedy, environmentalists had railed against what they brand “sea monsters,” virtually floating cities — each pumping massive amounts of greenhouse gases — sailing perilously close to the sea coast to thrill passengers aboard.

They even sail up to Venice, the lagoon city whose foundations are eroded by waves churned up by passing vessels. Venice port officials defend the practice, saying they’re escorted by tugboats.

“These virtual cities,” said Marevivo in a statement highlighting Cinelli’s concerns, “put at risk the richness of biodiversity, which that we must never forget is at the foundation of our very survival on Earth.”