Muscat: Specialist teams will be deployed to clean up the detergent packets and their contents that have spilled into Omani territorial water off the coast of Muscat, the Environment Authority has announced.
“The Environment Authority followed what was circulated through various social media channels about the spread of plastic waste in some places from the beaches of the Governorate of Muscat due to the sea currents, which it reached as a result of the sinking of a wooden ship outside the territorial waters of the Sultanate of Oman,” said the government body.
“Specialists at the Environment Authority conducted a field survey of those beaches and assessed the environmental situation in the regional waters to ensure that they were not affected by pollution,” added the organisation. “The authority also coordinated with the relevant authorities to join efforts and work to remove waste and clean the beaches to return them to their normal state.”
Reports of tens of thousands of detergent bags in the waters off the capital began circulating on Friday, with many divers and tour groups also reporting that their contents were spilling into the waters, with many birds also pecking at the packets to get at the contents within, in the hopes that it might be food for them to eat.
Diving instructors in Oman have said that both the plastic packets (when consumed by animals) as well as the detergent, could have far-reaching consequences for marine life as well as the aquatic ecosystems in which they live.