Pieces of hardened fat wash up along Saaremaa coast

People have reported seeing pieces of a light-colored material washed up on beaches in northwestern Saaremaa over the last week.

Laboratory analysis suggests the pollution is hardened fat that poses no environmental risk in small quantities.

"There is fat pollution along roughly ten kilometers of Tagalaht coastline and a few more kilometers near the village of Neeme. The substance occurs in the form of little hardened chunks about one centimeter in diameter, and the laboratory told us it is harmless in small quantities. It would be possible to clear by hand," said Jaak Haamer, head of the Saaremaa bureau of the Environmental Board.

The lab was unable to determine the origin of the substance that has been at the mercy of seawater, sun and wind for some time.

Saaremaa Municipality Mayor Madis Kallas said that because the fat is not an environmental hazard, the municipality is not planning a cleanup effort.

Extensive coastal mazut pollution was discovered on the islands of Hiiumaa and Vormsi earlier this week, which best guesses suggest is from a sunken wreck that has started to leak.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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