How Oil Spill Harms Marine Life and What Can Be Done

Oil Spill Cleanup

The seas around the globe are home to a variety of marine life, from the smallest planktons to the largest whales. All of them work together to form an ecosystem, which, in turn, also helps balance the environment. Sadly, because of oil and chemical spills from ships and factories, the world’s marine life is in danger.

When there is a major oil spill, coast guards and other experts have to perform clean-ups and deal with the affected marine life. Here’s a quick look on how oil spill harms marine life:

Chemical Constituents Affect Animals

Oil spill often comes with chemical constituents that are toxic to the sea animals. These chemicals can be ingested or inhaled by the animals, causing them to develop skin and eye irritations.

Animals Like Sea Birds, Bears and Sea Lions Lose Ability to Maintain Temperatures

For other animals, their coat feathers or fur are affected by the oil spill, making them unable to control or maintain their body temperatures. This can be fatal if they live in cold temperatures. Thus, it is crucial to make the clean-up as quickly as possible, which can be done if the authorities or the ships involved in the incident have the adequate marine spill kit.

Reduced Growth and Other Internal Effects

Marine life like fish and shellfish may not immediately feel the effect of oil spills. However, when they’re exposed to oil and chemicals, they may have reduced growth, changes in their heart rates, fin erosion, respiratory problems, enlarged livers and reproduction impairment. All of these manifest months after the exposure.

Larva and Egg Survival

Another problem encountered during an oil spill is the survival of developing animals inside eggs and larva. This may affect the natural balance of the ecosystem and eventually, the marine life population.

Oil and chemical spills take a toll on the waters, especially the life in it. It is important for factories and ships to practice precaution in their operations or when sailing the seas to prevent such disaster.