Sri Lanka: Wrecks

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 30th June 2021.

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Photo of Lord Sheikh Lord Sheikh Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of the environmental impact caused by the fire on the X-Press Pearl on the coast of Sri Lanka; and what support they have provided to the government of Sri Lanka.

Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The UK government remains concerned about the environmental impact caused by the fire on the X-Press Pearl ship. While the risk of an oil spill is now considered low, plastic pellets and other debris are affecting the shoreline. We have engaged regularly with the Sri Lankan authorities and international experts on the ground to determine how the UK can best support the response.

The UK government is providing marine pollution expertise to Sri Lanka to help respond to the potentially devastating impact on the marine life and coastal habitats of Sri Lanka. The UK will also provide expertise and analytical capacity to support plastic pollution monitoring, as well as environmental and socioeconomic impact assessments. The UK's Centre for the Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science will partner with Sri Lankan Government Departments, academics and responsible authorities to support effective emergency response and implementation of a post spill integrated monitoring plan.

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