Fishermen in Tamil Nadu’s Ramanathapuram district’s Rameswaram region have reported foul-smelling foam and what appears to be polluted water along the coast. Images and videos show foam and thick polluted mixtures on the water’s surface. Fishermen in the area suspect it has something to do with the X-Press Pearl shipping disaster that occurred off the coast of Sri Lanka in February.
According to Cinnathambi, coordinator of the traditional fishermen federation, unusual foam and suspected pollutants have washed up on the shore in the Pamban-Gulf of Mannar region over the last two days. He went on to say that the foam is spread nearly 50-100 metres in the sea water and stretches for several kilometres along the coast.
When asked if the foaming was typical of rough seas and monsoons, he told Zee Media that there appeared to be bits of plastic washing ashore. He stated that the fishing community was terrified of the suspected pollutants, which did not appear to be weather-related foaming.
Preliminary evidence points to the MV X-Press Pearl, which sank off the coast of Sri Lanka (between Colombo and Negombo) despite successful firefighting efforts by the Indian Coast Guard and Sri Lankan authorities. Concerns remain about the contents of its containers and the potential environmental impact on the region.
There have been several reports of tonnes of plastic pellets washing up on Sri Lankan beaches, in addition to the long-term impact of the chemicals being carried hundreds of kilometres due to wind, ocean currents, and other factors.
The container ship was carrying 1486 containers containing chemical cargo, which was classified as International Maritime Dangerous Goods when it caught fire (IMDG). The ship caught fire in the last week of May and sank the following week. The IMDG cargo included highly flammable Nitric Acid, Methanol, Methyl Acetate, Sodium Hydroxide, and Polystyrene beads, among other chemicals. It should be noted that the distance between Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu and the location of the sunken ship (off the coast of Sri Lanka) is only 240 kilometres.
According to reports, researchers from the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute in Mandapam collected samples from the surrounding area that revealed this suspicious foam. Zee Media has attempted to contact the institute but has yet to receive a response.
source- zee news