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World Wildlife deaths blamed on ship disaster mount in Sri Lanka

17:06  18 june  2021
17:06  18 june  2021 Source:   afp.com

Plastic, chemicals and a devastating hit for fishing

  Plastic, chemicals and a devastating hit for fishing The chemicals on the sunken ship will endanger nature and wildlife for decadesThe unlucky ship had towers of containers stacked upon each other, many containing chemicals highly dangerous to the environment.

More dead turtles washed up on Sri Lankan beaches Friday, underscoring the environmental blight caused by a container ship fire off the country's coast.

a group of people on a beach: Sri Lankan navy personnel remove debris washed ashore from the MV X-Press Pearl ship in Colombo © ISHARA S. KODIKARA Sri Lankan navy personnel remove debris washed ashore from the MV X-Press Pearl ship in Colombo

The Singapore-registered MV X-Press Pearl was carrying hundreds of tonnes of chemicals and plastics when it caught fire last month, before burning for two weeks. Since June 2 its wreckage has been partially submerged off the capital Colombo.

a small boat in a large body of water: A Sri Lankan fishing boat operates against the backdrop of the MV X-Press Pearl, which lies partially submerged in shallow seas off Colombo © ISHARA S. KODIKARA A Sri Lankan fishing boat operates against the backdrop of the MV X-Press Pearl, which lies partially submerged in shallow seas off Colombo

Wildlife officials said the carcass of an olive ridley turtle -- a species listed as threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature -- was found at the tourist resort area of Bentara, 80 kilometres (50 miles) south of Colombo.

Sri Lanka seeks initial $40m from fire-ravaged ship’s operator

  Sri Lanka seeks initial $40m from fire-ravaged ship’s operator Colombo still assessing the total damage with the claim representing expenses from May 20 to June 1, authorities say.Sri Lanka’s attorney general has sent the claim to lawyers representing X-Press Feeders, the ship’s operating company, said Darshani Lahandapura, head of the state-run Marine Environment Protection Authority.

a man in a wet suit standing on a beach: Wildlife officials remove the carcass of a sea turtle washed ashore at Galle Face beach in Colombo last week © - Wildlife officials remove the carcass of a sea turtle washed ashore at Galle Face beach in Colombo last week

Another was seen on a beach in Induruwa, just south of Bentara, raising to 15 the number found in the southern tourist resort belt, an official said.

"We see a clear link with the ship and the turtle deaths," the senior wildlife official on the island's south told AFP, declining to be named.

He said the disaster struck during the height of the turtles' mating season.

It is not unusual for some turtles to suffocate and die during the mating season, but deaths this year were "10 to 20 times more compared to last year", he said.

Local media reports have said more than 50 turtles and eight dolphins have been found dead across the island since the ship caught fire on May 20.

Immigration Minister says allowing Tamil family to stay in Australia would encourage people smugglers

  Immigration Minister says allowing Tamil family to stay in Australia would encourage people smugglers Immigration Minister Alex Hawke says he believes allowing a family of Tamil asylum seekers to resettle in Australia permanently would lead to more people trying to illegally get to the mainland by boat.Alex Hawke has intervened to allow the Murugappan family to live in Perth while four-year-old Tharnicaa Murugappan undergoes treatment in hospital, but he told Sky News the government's position on permanent resettlement was clear.

As the fire spread, two explosions dumped several containers into the Indian Ocean, along with plastic pellets which blanketed nearby beaches.

The country's top environment official, Anil Jasinghe, on Thursday linked the deaths to the X-Press Pearl, but said he was still waiting for final autopsy reports.

About 1,200 tonnes of plastic pellets and other debris scooped from beaches are being stored in 45 shipping containers, officials said.

Sri Lanka is seeking $40 million in damages from the ship's operator, X-Press Feeders.

Environmentalists are suing the government and X-Press Feeders for allegedly failing to prevent what they have called Sri Lanka's worst marine environmental disaster, while Sri Lankan police have launched a criminal probe against the ship's captain, chief engineer and chief officer.

aj/stu/leg/axn

Jos Buttler ruled out for rest of England’s series with Sri Lanka .
The Lancashire wicketkeeper-batsman suffered a calf injury in the Twenty20 opener and will not be fit for the three one-day internationals.Buttler felt tightness and discomfort – with a subsequent MRI highlighting the damage – after starring in England’s eight-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the first Twenty20, anchoring their pursuit of 130 with a classy 68 not out.

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