|The guillemots found in Lyme Bay were coated in a thick, white substance, the RSPB said (RSPCA/PA)|
Pictures of a variety of seabirds either dead or in various stages of extreme distress, have appeared in the press and on TV News, with flight and body feathers all glued together and volunteers fighting against time and tide to rescue some of the birds washed up on beaches and trapped between rocks. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) became involved after guillemots, were discovered on Lyme Bay near Weymouth, Dorset.
As they were recovered the seabirds were taken to West Hatch Animal Centre in Taunton, Somerset. Many more were recovered on the shores of Chesil Cove in Dorset, but others have appeared up to 200 miles away in Cornwall.
Julian Bray, maritime analyst & journalist comments: The lucky ones are being treated with a mix of margarine and washing up liquid being gently worked in to the feathers, but why does it happen? In reality it happens on a daily basis, a ship cargo load having been landed by a tanker, seawater is pumped in to the empty tanks as ballast, and rather than treat or scrub the 'grey water' its just discharged back into the ocean by some vessels. Most seafarers and owners, understand the dangers and do their best to minimise pollution and certainly cruise ships have a whole range of policies in place. Royal Caribbean for example has an impressive 'Save the Waves' program and any contravention is deemed a sacking offence.
Laboratory investigators are still urgently trying to identify the pollutant, thought to be Palm Oil and they have appealed to members of the marine fraternity to come forward with information. Meanwhile dog walkers have been warned to keep their pets off the beaches as ingesting the pollutant, which shows little sign of breaking down can cause a fatal outcome.
Contributor: JULIAN BRAY, Media Expert, Aviation, Politics & Travel, Economics, Broadcaster & Journalist Julian Bray NUJ Life Member, Full EQUITY Member UK Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile: 07944 217476 ISDN2 +44(0)1733 555 319 (UK HOME ISDN 01733 555319) G722/APT-X Dual Codecs SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK