Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa today instructed officials to purchase equipment to protect Sri Lanka’s marine environment.
He gave the instructions after visiting Uswetakeiyawa where major damage has been caused to the marine environment as a result of the fire on the ship, MV X-Press Pearl.
The Prime Minister appreciated the efforts taken by the Navy and others to clear the debris from the ship.
Rajapaksa also instructed the authorities to ensure further damage is not caused to the environment as a result of the fire.
He also advised the authorities to take steps to offer financial assistance to fishermen affected by the incident.
Coastal fishing between Panadura and Negombo has been banned.
The ban was enforced from last Sunday when the sea began to get polluted from the MV X-Press Pearl. However, there is no ban on deep sea fishing.
The fire on the ship MV X-Press Pearl has had a serious impact on the environment with debris now spread between Negombo and Moratuwa.
A cleanup operation is underway on the beach as bags full of plastic and other hazardous material continue to get washed ashore.
The Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) said that major damage has already been caused to the environment as a result of the blaze on the ship which has lasted for over a week. (Colombo Gazette)