Chennai sea affected by oil leak

"Today (Saturday) we conducted two air sorties and found a thin film of oil on the sea for around five nautical miles along the coast and two nautical miles into the sea from the shore. We have informed the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board which will investigate and suggest appropriate action," A. Rajasekhar, inspector general, Indian Coast Guard told IANS.

He said the source of the oil leak has not been identified, adding a ship might have discharged its bilge oil - waste oil that accumulates inside the lower areas of a ship.

"It is not oil slick but a sheen - a thin film of oil on water," the official pointed out.

He said the leak was not very threatening to the the ecology of the area and next course of action - mopping up the oil - will soon be decided on.

Black-coloured waves and dead fishe have been hitting the shores at Uthandi near here since Friday.

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