Colombo: Hundreds of turtles are reported to be dying after a cargo ship caught fire off the coast of Sri Lanka. So far, 176 turtles, 20 dolphins and four whales have died due to chemical pollution. This is stated in the report submitted to the court in Colombo. The report was submitted to the court by Deputy Solicitor General Madava Tennakoon.
Researchers say it is not uncommon for sea creatures to die during the monsoon season. The animals died in the area where the petroleum leaked from the ship. Researchers also say that cats need to be included in any precautionary measures against the virus. Environmentalists see the shipwreck as the largest man-made natural disaster in the country.
On May 21 this year, a Singapore-owned cargo ship, the MV Express Pearl, anchored nine nautical miles off the port of Colombo, caught fire. The 186-meter-long ship from Gujarat caught fire while anchored in the port of Colombo. The ship was carrying 1,486 containers. Of these, 81 contained hazardous substances, including 25 metric tons of nitric acid and other chemicals.
Environmentalists have said that 350 metric tons of fuel spilled from the ship into the sea has poisoned Sri Lanka’s 30-kilometer coastline. Heavy smoke from the ship mixed with tons of fuel and microplastics in the sea. They were later massacred off the coast of the capital, Colombo.
Researchers believe that eating birds, fish and other sea creatures by mistaking small plastic particles for food may lead to mass extinction. With the onset of the monsoon, plastic waste is likely to spread further into the sea and the disaster could escalate, the researchers said. A case has been registered against 15 people, including the ship’s captain Tutkalo Vitaly, in connection with the incident.
Content Highlights: Hundreds of dead turtles wash ashore in Sri Lanka after cargo ship wreck