Published: Friday 31 July 1998

Traces of an oil slick from a damaged tanker have reached Pakistan's southern shore, threatening marine life and beaches, maritime and environment officials said. They estimate that nearly 5,000 tonnes of oil leaked from the Belize-registered ship Yashika , that was abandoned after it was damaged by unknown causes about 305 kilometres southeast of Karachi. The ship was on its way to Mumbai from Bahrain. Much of the shore is industrialised, but the sea off the coast is rich with dolphins, turtles and shrimp. A thick layer of oil would block sunlight to marine life, and threaten mangroves.

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