Ship disaster: Sri Lankan Government failed to address environmental damage

Environmental activists have alleged that the Sri Lankan Government and its agencies failed to address the environmental damage and damage to the livelihood of fishermen caused by cargo ship fire near Colombo recently.

According to them, the agencies such as Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) and National Aquatic Resources Research, Development Agency (NARA) and other local bodies are failed in addressing the damages.

Executive Director of the Centre for Environmental Justice, Hemantha Withanage said 70 to 75 billion plastic pellets called ‘nurdles’ dropped into the ocean following this incident and added it would take 500 to 1000 years for plastics to perish.

“When these plastics are consumed by fish, they get crushed into small particles which converted into microplastics. Also, when fish eat these contaminated plastic pellets, fish could perish,” he said.

“Also, around 45 dolphins are also reported dead with some whales. This is an alarming situation. The MEPA, NARA and other local bodies have not done justice to this issue.”

“It is apparent that there is chemical contamination resulting in major havoc in the surrounding sea areas. It was also noticed that some fishing nets have also been damaged. However, local research bodies and academics have failed to come out with a specific reason for these deaths and damages ,” he further stated.



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