Sea Bird Pollution Ship Closer To Being Found

The source of the pollutant which has killed or injured nearly 3,000 sea birds off the south coast is closer to being found.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) says it's narrowed down it's investigation to seven tanker ships, which may have spilled the chemical responsible - polyisobutene (PIB).

A spokesperson said:

"The Maritime and Coastguard Agency's Counter Pollution branch is trying to identify the source of the PIB that has contaminated seabirds off the south west coast.

"PIB is a commonly used chemical carried in large quantities around the world by chemical tankers. Residue of PIB can be legally discharged from ships under controlled defined conditions set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Prevention of Pollution Convention (MARPOL).

"The MCA has been collecting data of the ships that passed through the area during a specific time frame, and looking through detailed cargo manifests. This is time consuming and resource intensive, but every effort is being made to try to determine the source.

"The number of tankers currently being considered stands at 7 and we are in the process of investigating these further."