By Ifham Nizam – island.lk
The Wildlife Conservation Department is expected to institute legal action against the owners of the Singapore registered Ship, X-Press Peal, for the widespread destruction of marine life.
The Department’s Publicity Director, Hasini Sarathchandra, contacted for comment, said that there had been a disasterous environmental impact.
“This is the first time we are witnessing deaths of marine animals in large numbers,” she said.
Samples of the dead animals were sent to the Government Analyst, University of Peradeniya Veterinary Faculty, National Aquatic and Resources Agency (NARA) and the Zoological Gardens in Dehiwela.
Sarathchandra said due to last year’s tanker fire off the East Coast, only Olive Ridley Turtles had been affected and 20 deaths reported.
Under International Law too sea turtles are protected. Sri Lanka has barred trade in sea turtle products.
Environmental Scientist, Hemantha Withanage said that the ill-fated ship contained extremely dangerous chemicals such as nitric acid and sodium dioxide.
He said dead fish species, turtles and dolphins had already been washed ashore. Some of those had turned green, suggesting sea water contamination.