Huge Mystery Spill Detected Off Coast of Sweden

A spill of an unknown substance off the coast of Sweden
A spill of an unknown substance off the coast of Sweden. Swedish Coast Guard / Kustbevakningen
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According to the Swedish Coast Guard, a huge spill of some kind has been detected 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, reported The Guardian.

 “What the spill consists of is still not clear but it is not mineral oil, and there is currently no immediate threat of landfall,” a statement from the coast guard said, as The Local reported.

The coast guard said samples had been collected and the spill had been mapped, but the best course of action couldn’t be determined until the samples were analyzed, which would be completed next week, reported The Independent.

A preliminary inquiry into potential environmental crimes was also underway.

“Among other things, it is being investigated which ships have been in the area and what cargo they have had,” said the coast guard, as The Guardian reported.

The Swedish coast is no stranger to oil spills. A massive spill occurred off the country’s southwest coast in 2011, polluting beaches and harming marine life and sea birds. Another in 2018 released nearly 3,700 gallons of oil after a large cargo ship ran aground.

The most recent spill was no longer visible yesterday, the coast guard said, adding that non-oil spills had been increasing lately.

“New types of fuel are increasingly being transported at sea – biofuel, for instance – and when they come into contact with water they exhibit a great variety of behaviours, which makes it more complicated to quickly establish what substance it is,” said head of the coast guard investigation Jonatan Tholin in a statement, as reported by The Independent.

Oil spills aren’t the only dangerous fuel spills that occur. According to Friends of the Earth, biofuels can create spills that are harmful to the environment too, including pollution and harm to marine life.

“Growing biofuel production, a lack of government oversight, and biofuel producers’ unawareness of pollution regulations means that spills are likely to increase in frequency,” the Friends of the Earth website stated. “The billions of dollars in taxpayer money that go to corn ethanol could instead be invested in alternative biofuels, and in solar and wind technologies that are truly sustainable.”

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