From Iceland — Several Birds Die Due To Oil Pollution

Several Birds Die Due To Oil Pollution

Published May 5, 2020

Sam O'Donnell
Photo by
South Iceland Nature Agency

27 bird carcasses, most of them eider, were found on the beach in Reykjanes on Sunday, May 3rd. The staff of the South Iceland Nature agency went to Stafnes yesterday after receiving reports of many bird carcasses washing ashore.

Of the 27 birds found dead, 14 were covered in oil. Erpur Snær Hansen, director of the South Iceland Nature Agency, told Morgunblaðið that a sample from the oil was sent to Norway for analysis.

According to a preliminary sample, the oil is most likely from a local source, but the oil in question is no longer used, except in cargo ships. One hypothesis is that the oil may have come from a sunken ship east of the Westman Islands. The birds that came in contact with the oil roost along the coast, and landed in the oil. The birds then came ashore and cleaned themselves by eating the oil.

As ever, those looking for more information or advice should go to the Icelandic Government’s excellent COVID-19 help page.

Tune into our daily COVID-Cast for a deeper dive into the day’s developments.

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