Monday, 31 May 2021 22:31

Sri Lanka faces worst marine and beach pollution’ from burning ship Featured

Sri Lanka faces an unprecedented marine pollution crisis as waves of plastic waste from a burning container ship hit the coast and threaten to devastate the local environment, a top environment official warned

Thousands of navy ratings using mechanical diggers scooped tonnes of tiny plastic granules on the beaches that had come from the Singapore-registered MV X-Press Pearl that has been smouldering on the horizon for ten days.

Sri Lanka's Marine Protection Authority (MEPA) said the microplastic pollution could cause years of ecological damage to the Indian Ocean Island

Fishermen have been banned from an 80-kilometre (50-mile) stretch of coast near the Singapore-registered MV X-Press Pearl as an international firefighting operation went into a 10th day.

Authorities are more worried about millions of polyethylene pellets washing up on beaches and threatening fish-breeding shallow waters.

The affected seafront is known for its crabs and jumbo prawns as well as its tourist beaches.

“This is probably the worst beach pollution in our history,” said Dharshani Lahandapura, head of Sri Lanka’s Marine Environment and Protection Authority (MEPA).

Much of the ship’s cargo, including 25 tonnes of nitric acid, sodium hydroxide, lubricants and other chemicals, appeared to have been destroyed in the fire, officials said.

 

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