Marine experts have said that this is a common phenomenon during the monsoon where oil spillage and plastic gets washed ashore.
Mumbai: Fishermen have spotted oil and tar tracks along the Sindhudurg and Ratnagiri coast following Cyclone Vayu that passed parallel to the state’s latitude. They are concerned that the oil that has been washed ashore will start settling at the respective sites, harming the marine ecosystem.
The entire coastline of Ratnagiri has been polluted and the fishermen suspect damage to the oil rigs of companies along the coastline. “If the oil and tar settles, it could harm marine life and affect breeding of organisms and small fish. The entire coastline, including Ganpatipule, Jaigad and Velneshwar beaches among others, has been polluted,” said Ganesh Nakhwa, vice president of the Maharashtra Purse Seine Net Fishermen Welfare Association.
However, marine experts have said that this is a common phenomenon during the monsoon where oil spillage and plastic gets washed ashore. “While it should not affect the fishermen drastically as fishing activities grind to a halt during the monsoon, the crude oil is harmful for marine life. This time too, oil tracks were seen at Vengurla and Sindhudurg beaches apart from Ratnagiri,” said Swapnil Tandel, a marine researcher working in the region under the Wildlife Trust of India.
Last year, the carcass of an Indian Ocean Humpback dolphin covered with crude oil had washed ashore at Malgund Beach, Ratnagiri, during the monsoon.