Read the text and do the task! Decide whether each statement is, according to the text, true, false or not mentioned. Choose the appropriate answer!
Ship waste oiling seabirds
Hundreds of thousands of seabirds are dying from oil pollution in Canada every year. Fines are not sufficient to deter polluters.
As many as 300,000 seabirds – the same number that fell victim to the Exxon Valdez disaster off Alaska in 1989 – are being killed every year by oily bilge*-waste discharged from ships off Canada’s east coast. The pollution is affecting the Grand Banks, which support 40 million seabirds throughout the year. The scale of the slaughter, which includes birds from all over the North Atlantic, has shocked biologists.

Francis Wiese, from Newfoundland’s Memorial University, has reached this estimate after finding that only 1 in 20 guillemots, little auks and puffins that die from oiling un Newfoundland’s costal waters during the winter end up ashore. The majority drift away from the coast, sink or are scavenged. He believes that the figure is conservative and that the slaughter has been going on for decades.

‘Several shipping lanes converge off Newfoundland, and we think that’s where the oil is being spilt,’ Wiese says. Much of the ship traffic is traveling to the USA, where million-dollar fines are common for illegally discharging oil at sea – and so the culprits pump their bilges off Canada instead. The risk of detection is lower, and the fines imposed by the Canadian courts are laughable - $45,000 is the heaviest so far.

According to Tony Lock, a marine issues biologist with the Canadian Wildlife Service, the federal government is trying to enforce regulations. ‘We need to persuade judges that this is not just sloppy ship management, but deliberate environmental crime,’ he says. ‘We must get them to impose fines that are an actual deterrent.’

Catching ships in the act of illegally pumping their bilges is another headache. There is insufficient aircraft surveillance, and patrols are becoming less effective as ship captains wise up to their presence. Some now empty their bilges at night or in fog to avoid detection. ‘We need to work out a system of satellite-tracking linked to aerial surveillance,’ says Lock, ‘but it’s going to be expensive.’

*Bilge: the bottom part of a ship that often contains dirty water.
1) The local inhabitants are the only ones concerned about the increasing number of seabirds dying each year.
2) The problem of oil pollution off Canada started many years ago.
3) It is difficult to detect the ships pumping their bilges unless they do it at night or in fog.
Eksāmens angļu valodā 12. klasei - Skolēna darba lapa - Lasīšana - 2006.gada 24.maijs
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