Remains of turtles and dolphins washed ashore

The remains of turtles and dolphins have been found washed ashore in parts of the country.

At least six turtles and one dolphin were found dead today.

However, it is still not clear if the deaths were caused by the fire on the ship, MV X-Press Pearl.

X-Press Pearl caught fire on Thursday 20th May whilst at Colombo anchorage, Sri Lanka, approximately 10km offshore.

The vessel had travelled from the port of Hazira, India and was carrying 1,486 containers, including dangerous goods (nitric acid, methanol, sodium hydroxide and other chemicals) and nurdles (small plastic pellets).

It is understood that approximately 320 m2 of low sulphur heavy fuel oil was also on board as bunkers.

Despite the best efforts of salvors supported by the Sri Lankan Navy and Indian Coast Guard, attempts to control the fire were unsuccessful. All crew members were evacuated from the vessel.

As the fire took hold and spread, the container stacks collapsed and multiple containers, as well as burning liquids and debris, had fallen overboard. Four containers had washed ashore, and many more had sunk.

As at 2nd June, an estimated 150 km of shoreline is reported to have been impacted to varying degrees by assorted debris from the vessel.

The Sri Lankan Marine Environmental Protection Authority (MEPA), together with the Sri Lankan army and the Navy are involved in clean-up efforts on the shore, focusing on the areas with the heaviest contamination.

The recovery operation comprises a mixture of mechanical and manual collection of the burnt debris and plastics. (Colombo Gazette)


  1. Turtles have a lifespan of approximately one hundred years. Is someone trying to claim that these deaths weren’t caused by the MV X-Press Pearl disaster ?

    And be warned; until the all clear to consume fish is given by a reputable health agency ( not staffed by graduates of the University of Peradeniya or any Russian University), fish from the area should not be consumed.

    In other words, let the Minister and his family consume the fish first, as a public demonstration of its safety. However, as the health effects are usually long term, this would still not be a convincing method.

    But as Sri Lankan’s are used to eating contaminated foods, these contaminated fish should not pose any adverse health risks ( ha ha !). No doubt, there will even be “entrepreneurs” who market the fish at a higher price, claiming health benefits from the added chemicals.

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