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Environmental groups expressed concern about the potential negative effects oil spilled from a supertanker in Tokyo Bay would have on animal life and tidal flats in the area.

Fish usually breed and mature in the shallows, so the spill could significantly effect them and the animals that feed on the fish, said Tatsuo Nakai, director of education and communication for the Nature Conservation Society of Japan. In addition, unlike an ocean oil spill, Tokyo Bay is almost enclosed, limiting the flow of water between the Pacific Ocean and the bay so that the oil will remain there for a long time, Nakai said. There are fears the tide flats in the bay, which are home to a diverse and very fragile ecosystem, may be at risk, he said.

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