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Oil slick moves north

PUBLISHED: 23:50 19 December 2002 | UPDATED: 13:14 03 March 2010

AN oil slick which has killed hundreds of birds off the coast of Suffolk has moved north.

The RSPCA thought the slick had disappeared after the number of birds they were having to treat suddenly dropped.

AN oil slick which has killed hundreds of birds off the coast of Suffolk has moved north.

The RSPCA thought the slick had disappeared after the number of birds they were having to treat suddenly dropped.

But Alison Charles, from the RSPCA Hospital in East Winch, Norfolk, said that the number of sea birds covered in oil has suddenly risen again this week - but this time the victims of the Black Death are being rescued from the coast of Lincolnshire.

The RSPCA Hospital, which is the national centre for the treatment of seals, has also had to treat one seal that had been effected by the oil slick. The seal was said to have only been slightly effected by the oil, but its species is still recovering from the devastating phocine distemper virus PDV which wiped out more than 2,000 seals from the North Sea this year.

Ms Charles said that seals are generally more sensible than birds and so know to avoid the dangerous globules of oil, lingering in the sea and on the beaches.

The Evening Star launched a campaign to stop the Black Death at the beginning of the month.

Already 300 seabirds have been killed and more than 600 are being cared for after the oil clotted their feathers, leaving them stranded and dying on Suffolk's shores.

The Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA), who regularly deploy a surveillance aeroplane to look for oil slicks, claimed last week that the oil slick had completely vanished.

They denied that they had lost trace of the devastating sludge which has been killing wildlife and damaging beaches in several counties including Essex, Norfolk and Lincolnshire.

But according to East Anglia's RSPCA centre for the treatment of small birds and mammals, sea birds are still dying from the mobile mystery.

WEBLINK: www.rspca.org.au

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