Oil Spills Threaten Millions of Aquatic Species, Causes Long Term Damage

Share on:

On 25 July, MV Wakashio, carrying 4,000 tonnes of oil crashed near a coral reef, Mauritius. The ship split into two parts and oozing out the oil into the ocean. Two months ago, an accident had occurred in Northern Siberia, where Norilsk Firm mishandled the diesel storage tanks, due to which 21,000 tonnes of diesel spill into river Ambarnaya.

The oil spill can be very treacherous to the environment and the ecosystem. The impact of the oil spill can last for several decades. According to the study, conducted by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in 2007, it was found 26,000 gallons of oil is still trapped in the sand of 1989, Exxon Valdex Oil Spill. BBC reported the spill as critical as it poses danger to the island of Ile au Aigrettes Nature Reserve, the abode of pink pigeons. The other region is of International importance, Blue Bay Marine Park. The oil spill has wreaked havoc in blue lagoons and is threatening aquatic animals.

To determine the severity of the oil spill various factors are looked on such as the density of oil spilt, whether the oil will float on water or not. The area around which the oil has spilt and the species living there. It’s likely to impact on the birds, fishes etc.

Initially, the oil floats on the surface slowly it sweeps into the water killing and contaminating the fishes. It would result in disrupting food chains. The birds when land or dive on oil-covered surfaces, they get completely drenched in oil. It makes it impossible for them to fly, destroys their natural waterproofing and make them vulnerable to hypothermia. If they swallow the oil, it can damage their internal organs. When the blowholes of big mammals, whales, dolphins and seals are covered with oil it becomes difficult for them to breathe and communicate. If the immediate effects are escaped, their food chains are disrupted. The spill can affect nesting and breeding grounds of aquatic animals. The migratory patterns of birds are also affected.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *