Tar balls resurface on South Goa beaches

BENAULIM : Tar balls have started repapering on South Goa beaches between Benaulim to Colva, leaving tourists complaining of sticky, oily residue.

The tar balls, often linked to being washed off from oil slicks and oil dumps from ships, were seen in larger distributions along the Sernabatim- Colva stretch and much lesser along Benaulim beach.

Now, considered a natural phenomenon before the onset of the monsoon, tourists as well as other visitors are complaining about it. Though the tar balls that have surfaced are small in size, they have also gone up to 30 cm in size in previous years.

Though fishermen are not directly affected by the presence of the tar balls they are witness to people’s complaints. “It does not directly create problems to us fishermen, but we have seen people grumbling when they step into the tar balls. I think this will create a not-so-good image of the beaches,” said a fisherman from Benaulim.

The phenomenon this year has however made an early appearance which otherwise is seen between the months of May and October. Locals presume the rough seas and changing weather patterns could be to blame for the early onset of the tar balls.

According to National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) studies, the lighter components of the oil evaporate and the remaining crude oil mixes with water to form an emulsion that is thicker than oil which then makes their way to the beach shore through the action of winds and waves.