More than 150 dead marine animals affected by the MV X-Press Pearl accident, have beached.
By yesterday bodies of 100 turtles, 15 dolphins, three whales and scores of sea birds and fish species, had been beached.
“We found five dead turtles and two dolphins in Trincomalee on 21 June alone. We continue to receive reports that dead marine animals are being beached everyday, particularly from the Western Coast,” a senior official said.
On Saturday, a dead whale with burn injuries was washed ashore on the Musali Karadikuli beach in Mannar. Officials said it was about 12 feet long.
However, Environmentalist Hemantha Withanage said that the Wildlife Department Conservation was trying to downplay the number of deaths.
The Sri Lanka Biodiversity Conservation and Research Circle, Convener Supun Lahiru Prakash yesterday wrote to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, urging him to look at the investigations being carried out by the Department of Wildlife on the impact.
“Dead marine animals such as dolphins and turtles are being washed ashore. But we are not sure if there is even a proper count,” he said
He said that officers attached to the Anawilundawa, Muthurajawela, Bellanwila-Attidiya and Hikkaduwa Wildlife Offices must report to the relevant Magistrate Courts of the dead marine animals found on the beaches of the Western, Southern and North Western Provinces. Post mortems must be conducted by the Wildlife veterinarians and body samples forwarded by the Courts to the Boralesgamuwa Veterinary Unit of the Department of Wildlife Conservation or to the Government Analyst for getting the expert opinion or further reports.
“However, it is known that the Boralesgamuwa Veterinary Unit does not have the necessary laboratory facilities. The veterinarians are examining the dead animals by only looking at them,” Prakash said.