Hundreds of Marine Animals Washed Ashore in Sri Lanka
Several hundred marine animals were found dead and were reportedly washed ashore in Sri Lanka recently. It apparently occurred after a cargo ship caught fire and sank, dissolving poisonous chemicals in the water.
Nearly, four whales, 20 dolphins, and 176 turtles were found to be dead. The officials stated that the deaths were because toxins were released into the water. Actual damage to the environment can be far worse. In addition to the reported deaths, carcasses of animals were found on the shore.
The ship’s operator, X-Press Feeders reported that one of their containers leaked nitric acid right before it entered the Sri Lankan Sea. The company has stated that the ship was asked to unload the containers but it refused to do so.
The ship sank into the shallow water near Colombo, as experts stated concern over the damages that the chemicals can have on the wildlife.
Besides carrying caustic soda, nitric acid, and plastic pellets, the ship also carried 350 tons of oil. It was estimated that nearly 70 billion tiny bits of plastic were released that can be dangerous for the animals.
Sri Lanka’s pristine beaches were covered with debris and plastics, but there was no sign of an oil spill. An expert panel in Sri Lanka initiated a damage assessment and found that the ship operator needs to make a payment of $3.6 million to fishermen for livelihood damage and $40 million to the government. Discussions are conducted to ensure initial payments of funds to compensate for the consequences of the resulting pollution.
Via: NY Times