Dead sea animals are washing up on the shores of Sri Lanka. You can check out Save The Reef’s sad photos below:
You may recall this story we posted about a massive chemical spill off the coast of Sri Lanka. If you missed it, you can check out the short read here.
In that post, we shared that scientists were not yet sure of what harmful impact marine life would face due to the disaster. Even then, it was called the ‘worst environmental disaster’ Sri Lanka has seen in its lifetime.
Now, weeks later, the bodies of sea turtles and other marine animals are washing up on the beaches in abnormally high numbers. Necropsy results are inconclusive as to how the animals died, and experts are cautious to jump to conclusions that it is directly due to the sinking chemical ship.
The cargo ship named the X-Press Pearl was hauling 278 tonnes of bunker fuel oil, 50 tonnes of gas oil, and 25 tonnes of nitric acid when it caught fire off the coast of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Although rescue teams tried to douse the flames before, the massive carrier sank, spilling its toxic contents into the ocean.
News stories about the incident have increased public awareness of the incident, which means the public is likely extra vigilant to report dead animals on the beach. It is also important to note that monsoon season is typically a time when animal deaths spike.
However, the numbers reported this season include over 100 dead turtles, 20 dolphins, and 5 whales, which is well above the average. It is not unreasonable to make a direct connection with the chemical spill that occurred last month, even if science has yet to prove that theory.
Our marine life and ocean habitats deserve so much better than this.
At Karmagawa and SaveTheReef, we are committed to seeing the end of ocean pollution. We hope that stories like this one can show the devastation caused when companies transport harmful substances across our oceans and will inspire people to find a better way!
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(Cover image: Troy Wegman/Shutterstock)