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Waste oil spotted on Kume Island beach

Date Posted: 2006-04-15

A nature park watcher spotted a waste oil ball last Saturday on Hateno Beach on Kume Jima.

The sticky oil is fouling the white sands along the island’s east coast. Naomi Sato, 45, said “I checked on April 7th and the ball was already there. I called the 11th Maritime Safety Agency, and now they’re checking where it came from.”

Tons of the black, sticky oil is blanketing more than 300 meters of beach. Sea birds are already in trouble, getting the waste oil on their wings. Officials say there was nothing wrong the morning of April 7th, and then in a short time it mysteriously appeared.

Leisure boat captain Makoto Nakamura says “when I looked at the wind direction, I was sure this oil ball went to another beach too.” He figured “With the wind together, it’s never been like this.”

Authorities are investigating, but haven’t determined where the oil came from. A priority now is to get the mess cleaned up before the shoreline and the birds are affected more.

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