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Sea Bird Death Chemical Banned

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7:01am 23rd October 2013

The sticky chemical that killed thousands of seabirds off the Cornish coast is being banned.

They washed up on beaches from St Mawes to Whitsands caked in PIB.

Many were taken to the rescue centre at St Columb because they could not fly, float or feed. Others simply did not survive.

Now the International Maritime Organisation is going to stop ships dumping it at sea.

Alec Taylor, Marine Policy Officer for the RSPB said; “We are delighted with the action taken by the IMO. The global trade in PIB products is increasing and with it the risks to our precious marine environment. Today’s global ban on the deliberate discharge of high viscosity PIBs into our seas is a real step forward and one that we hope will end this particular pollution threat to seabirds and other marine life.”

RSPCA senior wildlife scientist Adam Grogan said: "We welcome this decision. Our staff worked around the clock washing and treating these poor birds in January and April and it was heartbreaking seeing the pitiful state they were in.  Hopefully this will help stop incidents like these happening again, and save wildlife from suffering and dying like this in the future.”

Joan Edwards, Head of Living Seas for The Wildlife Trusts, said:  "We welcome today's ban. The thousands of dead and dying seabirds witnessed earlier this year were the most visible victims of mismanagement. Impacts on other parts of marine life support systems may have been just as widespread, and more serious. Not to mention the impacts on tourism of dead seabirds on the beach - particularly pressing in south-west counties which rely so heavily on summer visitors."

The public response to the tragedy was significant, with more than 25,000 people signing petitions organised by 38 Degrees and Avaaz calling for a ban on the discharge of PIB.

7:01am 23rd October 2013

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