Oil-Soaked Seabirds Found in Westman Islands Skip to content

Oil-Soaked Seabirds Found in Westman Islands

By Larissa Kyzer

Oil-soaked birds
Photo: Umhverfisstofnun.

A number of oil-soaked seabirds have come ashore in the Westman Islands in recent days.  Most of the birds have been found in the harbour on Heimaey Island and just off the coast of the Stórhöfði peninsula on the far end of the island. The oil-soaked birds have been found around Heimaey since the beginning of the year and number in the dozens. Oil-soaked murres have also been found in Reynisfjara but it’s unclear if the cases are connected.

The crew of the Coast Guard TF-EIR helicopter and a representative of the Environment Agency of Iceland went out on a surveillance flight in search of the pollution source on Tuesday. The team surveyed all the islands in the Westman archipelago as well as Reynisfjara beach in South Iceland, but did not find the source.

The Environment Agency affirms that it will continue working with the Icelandic Coast Guard and EMSA, the European Maritime Safety Agency, to find out where the oil is coming from.

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