Sticky substance still killing sea birds

RSPB calls it ‘one of the worst UK marine pollution incidents in decades’

Author: Pat
4th May 2013
 

More birds are washing up on British beaches covered in a sticky glue-like substance.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) says around 2,500 sea birds have been killed in two separate spillages this year.

affected birds along the coast from Cornwall to Dorset

Tests on the oily substance in the water have revealed it to be polyisobutene (PIB), a chemical used to clean the engines of ships at sea.

This practice is not illegal, although there are limits on how much PIB can enter the water.

It will be impossible to identify the vessels responsible, but pollution has affected birds along the coast from Cornwall to Dorset, in two separate incidents.

The chemical is not a straight poison. It sticks to the animals and acts like a glue on their feathers, rendering them unable to fly or clean themselves.

500 sea birds have been taken to a rescue centre by the RSPCA for cleaning.

To date eighteen different species of birds have been affected, the majority being guillemots.

People are being asked for their support in campaigning against the discharge of PIB into the sea.

If you’d like this harmful practice to be banned, why not sign the 38 Degrees petition and the Avaaz petition, or write to your MP and ask them to raise the issue with the minister responsible.

 
 
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