Maritime groups urged to track down beach polluter
MARITIME authorities are being urged to track down the culprit responsible for polluting beaches around Cornwall.
A white, sticky substance was washed up on Penwith beaches and around Mounts Bay, including at Praa Sands.
It has been blamed for the death of a dog but tests have revealed it is not harmful to humans.
The mystery gunk was later found to be palm oil, which is degradable and non-toxic. Deposits have been cleaned up by contractors for Cornwall Council.
Job Vacancy: Plumbing & Heating Engineer RequiredView details
Trident Plumbing and Heating Services Ltd have a vacancy for a full time Plumbing and Heating Engineer.
Terms: Ring 01326 218934, email CV to email@example.com, or post CV to Unit 1, Ponsharden Ind Est, Falmouth, Cornwall, TR11 2SG
Contact: 01326 330626
Valid until: Friday, December 20 2013
However, Andrew George, MP, said he was concerned the source of last week's pollution had not been identified.
"It is important that the culprit responsible for this incident is tracked down and prosecuted," he said.
Mr George said he will be asking the Maritime and Coastguard Agency to make sure progress is made in identifying the source.
The Cornwall councillor for Praa Sands, John Keeling, said it was disgraceful that the substance had been dumped in the sea.
He said: "The beach at Praa Sands is precious. It is a jewel in the crown of this area. I was very concerned that people were going down on the beach and their dogs were being put in danger."
He said he applauded the efforts of the council and other agencies in clearing up the mess.
The substance was first reported early last week. Initially unsure what the substance was, Cornwall Council put up signs advising visitors to avoid touching it.
In Penzance, a vet said a number of dogs had been taken ill and one pet died after coming into contact with the waxy material.
On Thursday, Public Health England said that tests had revealed the true nature of the oil.
The agency's Femi Oshin said: "It's reassuring that the substance has been found to be some kind of cooking oil.
"It has clearly turned rancid and that's why we've had reports of it smelling so bad."
Cornwall Council then moved in and said contractor Cory Environmental had been asked to remove the material.
A spokeswoman for the council said it has now been removed, adding: "They cleaned up all beaches that were reported to be affected."
It is not believed to have affected any wildlife.