In Sri Lanka a real one is underway unprecedented environmental disaster: the worst that the country has ever had to face, as local authorities also declare.
It is a disaster that has been going on for several days and that will certainly have strong environmental repercussions anything but positive on the waters and beaches of the area and beyond.
In fact, it Sri Lanka it bases its economy mainly on fishing activity. The ongoing disaster could have quite a few repercussions on the country’s economic life.
Here it is what is happening e which species are at risk because of the environmental disaster.
Environmental disaster in Sri Lanka: this is what is happening
A few days ago a merchant ship has been wrecked off the east coast of Sri Lanka, off the port of Kepungoda, about twenty km north of Colombo, near the beach of Negombo, a highly touristy place.
The reason for the shipwreck alleged was identified in a fire that suddenly broke out on board the ship which caused several explosions.
This cargo ship was carrying over a thousand containers containing toxic and cosmetic products, including an amount equal to 25 tons of nitric acid. This is the quantity to which the huge load of poisonous products amounts to, which in these hours is pouring into the sea of one of the most uncontaminated countries in the world.
The crew and the intervention of the firefighters during the disaster
On board the ship, the crew consisted of 25 men who were promptly evacuated. However, despite the prompt intervention of the firefighters who struggled for days with the raging fire, nonetheless the ship is sinking.
To date, not only are the losses of toxic and therefore harmful products for the marine ecosystem feared, but also the dispersion of hundreds of tons of fuel (more than 300) that are sinking together with the ship.
Sri Lanka’s response to the environmental disaster
During these hours, measures are being taken regarding the environmental disaster. In this sense, the authorities have decided to prohibit fishing 50 miles from the coast.
The Sri Lankan Fisheries Minister is working towards the emergency procedures to protect the lagoon of the affected area. In fact, not being able to fish involves enormous damage to the country’s economy, which is mainly based on this activity.
Precisely for this reason, more than 5,000 fishing boats and hundreds of soldiers have been employed in the cleaning of the coasts, but the environmental disaster still cannot be avoided by any means.
It may take weeks, if not months, to clear the beaches affected by the accumulation of debris caused by the environmental disaster.
Which species are at risk from the environmental disaster in Sri Lanka
Marine species overwhelmed by the environmental disaster they are not few. Numerous turtles have been found dead from poisons on the beach. Together with the turtles, different types of fish have also landed and ended their life on the beach.
Sri Lanka is famous for its marine fauna and in particular for its characteristic fishing white shrimp. This species could be among those affected within the ecosystem, as well as other types of fish (cuttlefish and giant mullet).
Among the most famous fish of the main economic activity of Sri Lanka (and also of the food of the country itself) is what is called the “rock fish”. It is, in particular, the gray snapper or mangrove snapper, a game fish native to the western part of the Atlantic Ocean.
Hope on the environmental disaster
The hope is that the oil contained in the ship. In this case, the damage to marine creatures (and consequently also to the country’s economy) could be really considerable.
If this happened, the situation would become irremediably compromised and a damage containment system would have to be devised.
The Sri Lankan economy would be affected and so would the entire marine fauna of the area.