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241-250, doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2015.02.002. Oil spills have major environmental and economic effects. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.. 2015. Aquatic beings cannot thrive in toxic environment and that makes oil pollution a disservice to them. Our understanding of oil toxicity has expanded by studying the effects of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. On a basic level, oil spill effects will damage waterways, marine life and plants and animals on the land. Since most of the oil floats in water, the sunlight absorbing capacity of the water decreases. Here are some ways an oil spill can negatively impact marine life, including seabirds, pinnipeds, and sea turtles. The damage is hard to measure and contain, since it can effect complex ecosystems and spread if introduced to underground water. That spill is considered the most infamous oil spill in U.S. history -- although the 2010 BP leak in the Gulf of Mexico proved to be even worse, surpassing Exxon Valdez in scale. Oil that contains volatile organic compounds partially evaporates, losing between 20 and 40 percent of its mass and becoming denser and more viscous (i.e., more resistant to flow). The BP oil spill began when the Deepwater Horizon rig suffered an explosion on April 20, 2010. [Ari Labadi/Al Jazeera] A small percentage of oil may dissolve in the water. Wildlife recovery, cleaning, and rehabilitation is often an Valuable fishing areas maybe closed down for any period of time if an oil spill occurs. Prevailing weather conditions will also influence the oil’s physical characteristics and its behaviour. Attempts to remove the oil through preening also causes birds to swallow oil, which causes severe organ damage. The chemical composition of oil mixes with the water and creates a new substance known as "mousse." 84, 2014, pp. Once most of the oil slick is broken down, the bacteria move onto other materials containing hydrocarbons. Larry West is an award-winning environmental journalist and writer. “How Does Oil Impact Marine Life?.” National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. One preferred method is the introduction of microorganisms that cause the oil to herd to the surface and turn into an almost gel-like substance. Despite massive clean-up efforts following the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, for example, a study conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) found that 26,000 gallons of oil were still trapped in the sand along the Alaska shoreline. Scientists conducting the study determined that residual oil was declining at less than four percent annually. Thus, the oxygen withholding capacity and the percentage of oxygen in water decreases. The impacts of an oil spill on fisheries and mariculture activities can be categorised as direct or indirect. Oil spills frequently kill marine mammals such as whales, dolphins, seals, and sea otters. Oil can clog blowholes of whales and dolphins, making it impossible for them to breathe properly and disrupting their ability to communicate. Weeks after the event, and while it was still in progress, the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill was being discussed as a disaster with far reaching consequences sufficient to impact global economies, marketplaces and policies. If a fish consumes a small amount of oil, it can survive, but may pass on that oil to another animal far away from the site, causing its death. As the name implies, an oil spill refers to any uncontrolled release of crude oil, gasoline, fuels, or other oil by-products into the environment.Oil spills can pollute land, air, or water. This becomes even more expensive when a location is remote. Since oil spills can occur anywhere in the ocean or near land, the resources needed to repair the situation in a timely manner are generally not located near the site. Quintana-Rizzo, Ester, et al. But many of the long-term effects from the spill cannot be seen with the naked eye. Oil spill has direct and indirect effects on human beings and environment among which are the following:Problem for Ecosystem: Oil spill creates problem for the ecosystem most especially aquatic beings. The overall cost and challenge of cleaning up an oil spill is enormous. 2008. For people attempting to clean the slick, the oil-water mixture is very hard to dispose of and eventually retains very little value as oil itself. The consequences of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico extended beyond the 11 fatalities and 17 injuries suffered that day. The general fate and transport of spilled oil dictates its environmental effects and mainly … This means more barrels have to be imported from other countries. Through the use of the clean-up methods just mentioned, oil may look like it is gone but in fact it can persist in the environment for decades. Lasting damage to lands and waterways is one major negative consequence when oil finds its way into the environment. This same effect is responsible for the majority of bird deaths in oil slicks. Preventing oil spills and using environmentally-friendly oil spill cleaners, rather than other toxic products will help a great deal in minimizing the impact of an oil spill. Marine Pollution Bulletin, vol. “Oil and Sea Turtles.” National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This can affect organisms both from internal exposure to oil through ing… Oil Spills Affect Fish. This becomes even more expensive when a location is remote. The oil may also have an effect on the ability of those birds that survive the oil spill to reproduce. Position paper on effects of acute oil spills. Even a small amount of oil can be deadly to a bird. By coating feathers, oil not only makes flying impossible but also destroys birds' natural waterproofing and insulation, leaving them vulnerable to hypothermia or overheating. As birds frantically preen their feathers to restore their natural protections, they often swallow oil, which can severely damage their internal organs and lead to death. The best estimate of the Exxon Valdez oil spill is that it killed 250,000 seabirds.. An International Journal, vol $ 287 million in punitive damages 216-223., doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2018.07.003, King, M.,! Has physical, mental and social effects on the water ways to clean up spilled oil can fish... Spills is the introduction of microorganisms that cause the oil spill could potentially... In human history, mental and social effects on the water composition of oil spills amount of into... To hypothermia or overheating typically teeming with species that flourish on the marine animals reduces to... 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