Seabirds dead after oil spill in the Barents Sea
Dead and injured seabirds have been found near “Petrozavodsk”, the Russian freezer ship that yesterday ran aground by the coast of the Bear Island in the Barents Sea.
The Norwegian Directorate for Nature Management (DN) reports that Norwegian Coast Guard crew has found dead and injured seabirds in the water around the vessel. The birds have probably been soiled by diesel or oil that has leaked from the damaged ship.
“So far a low number of dead and injured birds have been spotted, but high waves and bad weather makes it hard to get an overview of the situation,” DN Director Janne Sollie says.
Bear Island is an important area for several species of seabirds. The accident occurred at the worst possible time, when hundreds of thousands of birds are about to start the nesting season.
The Norwegian Directorate for Nature Management, the Norwegian Polar Institute and the Governor of Svalbard will now send experts to Bear Island to get the best possible overview of the extent of damage the oil spill has made on the seabird population.
As BarentsObserver reported yesterday, the ship has 54 cubic meters of oil as well as other petroleum substances on board.