Traces of oil from MV Rak Carrier were found at Marve beach, Malad, and Uttan beach in the Mira-Bhayander region, on Wednesday.
“The oil found is in small quantities. Fortunately, the rate of oil coming on to the shores has drastically reduced,” said a senior official from the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board requesting anonymity.
While environmentalists said there were traces of oil in Sewri and Trombay, the pollution control board did not confirm it saying that they were still to analyse samples from these areas.
The Coast Guard said the oil spill from the sunken ship continued to remain around 5 to 7 nautical miles. An area of up to 12 nautical miles from the coast is devoid of any oil patches.
A Dornier aircraft undertook two sorties at 12.30pm and 2pm to spray dispersants in areas where ships could not reach. Two Coast Guard ships ICGS Varuna and ICGS Amrit Kaur continued to combat the spill from the sunken vessel.
“The outflow of oil from the ship has remained constant at 0.5 tonne per hour,” said a Coast Guard officer.
With oil having reached Awas and Kihim beach in Alibaug, a team from the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) visited these sites to assess the impact. The team also visited mangrove areas of Sasavne and Mandva, which were affected by the spill after MSC Chitra and MV Khalijia collided last year.
“There is a thin layer of oil and tar balls on the shore. But unlike last year, no mangroves have been affected,” said Swapna Prabhu, botanist, BNHS. “Although mangroves are adaptable and sturdy, the long term impact with regard to fruiting and flowering will not be known now.”
On August 4, MV RAK Carrier sank about 25 nautical miles off the Mumbai coast. It started spilling oil on August 6.