SL’s ornamental fish industry reports extinction of endemic species and emaciation after X-Press Pearl maritime disaster
Colombo (LNW): After the tragic X-Press Pearl maritime disaster, Sri Lanka’s ornamental fish exporters asserted that numerous endemic marine ornamental fish species have become extinct, and small fish varieties are emaciated.
The above information was disclosed by MP Ajith Mannapperuma, Chairman of the Sectoral Oversight Committee on Environment, Natural Resources, and Sustainable Development.
The emaciation effect is still apparent in the sea, making the identification and procurement of small fish species challenging, Daily Mirror reported citing Mannapperuma.
Additionally, forage fish varieties like sprats have suffered emaciation, and carcasses of large fish species and turtles have washed ashore.
The sea’s condition has not returned to normal, and the colour diversity of ornamental fish is severely damaged due to toxic waste from the ship.
Despite Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) claims of fuel removal, persistent fuel patches on the sea surface are reported in the area where the ship sank.
Fishermen have expressed difficulties finding fish in the affected sea areas, prompting calls for an annual assessment of fish harvests post-tragedy and ongoing monitoring to address reductions in fish populations.