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    Ecologists say too early to estimate impact of Barents Sea oil slick

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    Ecologists have warned that it is too soon to judge what environmental impact an oil slick in the Barents Sea has had.

    Ecologists have warned that it is too soon to judge what environmental impact an oil slick in the Barents Sea has had.

    The oil spilled into the sea in the Kandalaksha Bay, off the northern Russian port city of Murmansk, after melt water carried oil from beneath the soil offshore on May 7.

    Officials say the oil is up to 5 millimeters thick in places. An area of the sea covering 210,000 square meters is polluted, the latest satellite data indicates.

    Scientists say it is too soon to gauge the full extent of the incident.

    "It is still hard to assess the consequences of the oil slick for animals and birds of the Kandalaksha wildlife park," Ivetta Tatarenkova, a scientist at the park, which is situated on the coast, told RIA Novosti on Wednesday.

    "The spill may pose a threat to eider ducks," she said.

    "The invertebrates - mussels, small crustaceans and others - may also suffer at the hands of the spill," she added.

    Efforts are underway to clean up the slick.

    MOSCOW, May 12 (RIA Novosti)

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