Bambolim beach covered with tar that washed ashore

Bambolim beach which is popular with locals and tourists alike has witnessed tar residue being washed ashore from the sea. The residue which is usually found as a ball measuring a few centimetres in size, has melted due to high temperatures and covers the beach like a black film.

The tar residue originates from oil vessels in high seas and surfaces during the May-October period. It is formed due to physical, chemical and biological processes called weathering.

Due to the tar pollution, the beach has become inhospitable. Spoiling the mood of tourists who want to spend time there. At the same time locals cannot go to the beach for their annual sea baths.


A rigorous process is required to clean up the tar material from the beaches and even after a clean up it may leave the area contaminated. Affecting the lives of marine animals living on the shore.

“The soft tar balls have a tendency to melt under the sun and the petroleum materials present get absorbed into the sand. Such tainted sand should be removed so that the petroleum does not pose a threat to sand-dwelling inter-tidal organisms such as bivalves and worms,” an NIO paper on tar ball stated.

Information credit: ToI
Image credit: NOAA

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