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Hazardous substances washed ashore

Potential biodiversity issues

  • Introduction of toxicity into habitats/substrates
  • Direct mortality or injury of species (plants, birds, invertebrates, fish)
  • Secondary damage to habitats and/or species during “clean up” operations

Potential mitigation measures

  • Assess the sensitivity of the location at which the substances have been washed ashore: is it in or in proximity to a statutorily designated site; is it in or in proximity to an area of particular importance (e.g. one likely to hold high concentrations of bird species). See bird density maps and Oil Spill Response GIS
  • Alert Environment Agency and/or Counter Pollution Branch of MFA to biodiversity issues
  • In consultation as above and if appropriate following advice from Natural England, minimise any physical disturbance or further chemical pollution (e.g. from clean up or neutralising substances) during remedial actions
  • If mortality or injury of species is likely or confirmed, make best efforts to inform RSPB and RSPCA .