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Culprit behind 'worst' bird deaths chemical spill cannot be found
7:00am Sunday 25th August 2013 in News
A bid to trace the culprit behind one of the most devastating chemical spills to hit the SW in a generation has failed.
The Maritime and Coastguard (MCA) say that investigators have not been able to link the spill of PIB (polyisobutene) to any single vessel.
The pollution is thought to have killed thousands of birds, with harrowing scenes in April and May of daed birds littering the coastline as far south west as Cornwall.
The Maritime and Coastguard (MCA) has said it is closing its investigation.
The BBC say that Cornwall MP Sheryll Murray said: "They did get as far as focusing on 16 ships but they didn't get further because there were no independent witnesses.
"They couldn't identify it to a specific time, so they didn't have evidence that would stand up if a prosecution was taken."
PIB, which becomes very sticky when in seawater, is used as a lubricant and can be legally discharged when ships wash out their tanks.
There are moves to try and introduce a voluntary code to stop ships discharging the chemical. Andrew George, MP for West Cornwall said: "The discharging of PIBs should be banned. But that may take years to achieve through international negotiation. That’s why, in the interim, I’m calling on Ministers to support my proposal for a voluntary code between the shipping and port sectors to ensure that all waste PIBs can be handled by port waste facilities."