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Bonavista coral reef at risk from possible oil spill

One of Sri Lanka’s most pristine marine environments, the Bonavista Coral reef, is in danger of being hit by an oil spill, the General Manager of the Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) Dr. Teney Pradeep Kumara told RepublicNext today July 19.

He said the danger comes from the ship ‘Sri Lankan Glory’ which was washed ashore near Unawatuna, Galle after being damaged by high winds and rough seas.

Speaking to RepublicNext, Dr. Teney said that although there is no oil spill at the moment, there is a high risk of a spill in the event of any hull damage, which could destroy the Bonavista coral reefs.

“The ship is currently carrying about 10-20 tons of oil. The possibility of the vessel’s hull getting damaged is high as high waves have hit the ship,” he said.

The team from MEPA is currently trying to safely remove the oil from the ship as further damage could cause the oil to spill into the ocean.

The reef off Unawatuna is frequently ranked among the top ten coral reefs in the world.