The National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA) said the oil slick reported following the leak from the distressed MT New Diamond crude oil tanker, has negatively impacted the turtles in the sea area.
Teams observed a change in the behavioral patterns of turtles, said NARA adding it can assume the oil slick had affected marine life in the said area.
The National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA) added the oil percentage in the seawater in the area in question is relatively high noting a study is currently underway to ascertain the damage caused to the Sri Lankan marine environment following the fire aboard the MT New Diamond.
The Marine Environment Protection Authority said the report on the study will be produced to the Attorney General in two weeks.
MEPA Chairperson Dharshani Lahandapura speaking to media said until the crude oil tanker is towed out of the Sri Lankan maritime boundary, the sea are will be subject to inspections once in every two weeks and the region will be monitored once a month.
Further, MEPA requested local fishermen and the naval community to inform them or NARA if there is any observation in the change in marine life in the sea area in question.
The distressed crude oil tanker, the MT New Diamond is currently 62 nautical miles away from Sri Lankan shores.
MEPA Chairperson Dharshani Lahandapura speaking to media said once the legal process on the MT New Diamond is completed, permission would be granted for the vessel to be towed away from Sri Lankan waters.
Until such approval is given, the ship will not be permitted to leave Sri Lankan waters, she stressed.