Volunteers are struggling to clean the shores of Israel after a large-scale tar pollution which still has repercussions as new stains arrive to what were fairly cleaned beaches, the Environmental Protection Ministry said on Sunday.
Pollution levels at Rosh HaNikra beach went up to moderate-heavy as new stains washed ashore.
While many beaches are depicted as blue (very light) on the pollution ‘Stop-Light’ map created by the ministry, Dor Beach is orange (light to moderate) and a spot on Hof Hasharon park is red (moderate to heavy).
Some tar was carried ashore to Tel Baruch beach in Tel Aviv, Bustan HaGalil shore, and Havat HaMaychalim beach in Haifa.
The ministry explained that the rocks on these shores make cleaning operations hard and cautioned that further stains can hit the beaches in the future according to currents and sea-level changes.
Some 70 tons of toxic tar had already been cleaned from Israel’s beaches last week, the Nature and Parks authority announced.
However, the ministry believes that around 1.2 kilotons (1,200 tons) of tar has so far washed ashore since the spill. Volunteers and wildlife experts are hard at work to clean the shores and save the lives of seagulls and sea turtles injured by the tar. It is suspected that a young whale had died as a result of the pollution.
The causes of the tar pollution are still unknown after an Israeli investigation into a suspected Greek tanker revealed the pollution did not originate with it. Efforts to find the responsible party or parties are ongoing at the time of this report.