Huge mysterious oil spill discovered off Swedish coast

According to the Swedish Coast Guard, a huge leak was discovered off the coast of Sweden, but the substance was unknown. The spill covered an area of ​​30 square miles in Finnish and Swedish waters in the Baltic Sea, The Guardian reported.

“It is still not clear what the spill consisted of, but it is not petroleum and there is no immediate threat of a landfall at this time,” the Coast Guard said in a statement, as reported by The Local.

The Coast Guard said samples had been collected and the spill mapped, but the best course of action could not be determined until the samples were analyzed, which will be completed next week, The Independent reported.

A preliminary investigation into possible environmental crimes was also underway.

“Among other things, it is investigating which ships were in the area and what cargo they had,” the Coast Guard said, as reported by The Guardian.

Oil spills are no stranger to the Swedish coast. In 2011, a massive oil spill hit the country’s south-west coast, polluting beaches and harming marine life and seabirds. Another in 2018 released nearly 3,700 gallons of oil after a large cargo ship ran aground.

The latest spill was no longer visible yesterday, the Coast Guard said, adding that the number of non-oil spills has increased recently.

“New fuels are increasingly being transported by sea – biofuels for example – and behave very differently when they come into contact with water, making it difficult to quickly determine which substance is involved,” Coast Guard investigator director Jonatan Tholin said in a statement , as reported by The Independent.

Oil spills are not the only dangerous fuel spills that occur. According to Friends of the Earth, biofuels can also cause environmental damage, including pollution and damage to marine life.

“Growing biofuel production, a lack of government oversight, and biofuel producers’ ignorance of environmental regulations mean spills are likely to become more common,” according to the Friends of the Earth website. “The billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money going into corn ethanol could instead be invested in alternative biofuels and in truly sustainable solar and wind technologies.”

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