The precise identity of a substance that washed ashore off the coasts of Hiiumaa and Saaremaa earlier this week remains unknown. Laboratory tests to identify the substance are underway, with results expected to be known on Friday.
According to Liivi Reinhold, the Estonian Environmental Board's chief public relations officer, the unidentified sticky, greyish clumps have been found in an area stretching as far as a few dozen kilometers along the northern coast Hiiumaa's Kõpu peninsula. The substance has also been found to a lesser extent along Kõpu's southern coast, as well as at Onni beach on Saaremaa, where according to Reinhold, the Environmental Board were collecting samples for testing on Thursday.
On Hiiumaa, decisions about the next steps to be taken will be agreed upon with the municipality, once details of the laboratory analysis have been made available. Results of the analysis are expected to be released on Friday.
Johan Käh, chief inspector of the Hiiumaa office of the Environmental Board's monitoring department, recommends that children and animals in particular avoid the affected areas.
"It can stick to children's feet and hands if they touch it. People should stay away from places where they can see it until we know what it is and whether it is dangerous to humans, animals or the environment," said Käh.
Editor: Michael Cole