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YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK, December 2. /TASS/. Seabirds are falling victim to a major oil spill off the western coast of Russia’s far-eastern Sakhalin island, local environmentalists said on Wednesday.
Some 11 kilometres of coastline are contaminated after an oil spill from the Nadezhda tanker, carrying some 800 tonnes of oil products. The tanker hit a reef on Saturday during a storm and remains grounded near the port city of Nevelsk.
"Many Baird's cormorants fully covered with oil have been found in the disaster area. Some 100 birds are still alive but they cannot fly and even swim with oil stuck to their feathers," environmentalists said.
"The birds were trying to hide from strong northwestern wind behind rocks and concrete structures. At least five birds have died, others have little chance to survive under the heavy winds and low temperatures."
Sakhalin Energy company has pledged to rescue the birds from the polluted area, its spokesperson said, adding that some 60 birds have already been airlifted to the company’s rehabilitation center.