ics (1997), an oil spill is “oil, discharged accidentally or intentionally, that floats on the surface of water bodies as a discrete mass and is carried by the wind, currents and tides. Oil spills can be partially controlled by chemical dispersion, combustion, mechanical containment and absorption. They have destructive effects on coastal ecosystems” (par. 1). The ecological crisis brought about by oil spills displaces a global equilibrium pattern based on the dwindling supply of marine resources. As an environmentally ethical dilemma, oil spills need to be closely evaluated and addressed to take drastic actions to restore balance and prevent further damage to the marine ecosystem.
According to Oracle ThinkQuest, oil spills are actually classified into two groups: accidental and from operations (n.d., par. 1). Accidental oil spills are generally caused by collusions, fires and explosions, hull failures, and groundings (ibid.). On the other hand, oil spills from operations “occur when ships are carrying out routine operations at ports or oil terminals, but the majority of such spills are small, with 93% of them producing a spillage of less than 7 tonnes” (Oracle, n.d., par. 3). As indicated, two specific activities are encompassed within the scope of oil spills from operations, to wit: “loading/discharging: commonest cause of oil spillages (either during routine operations or resulting from accidents), with 3070 occurring between 1974-1999; and bunkering: the least common operational oil loss with only 566 occurring between 1974-1999” (ibid.).
Whatever the causes are, the fact remains that the oil spilled in bodies of water pose dangers to marine life and to the environment. The International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation Limited (ITOPF) is “a not-for-profit organization established on behalf of the worlds ship owners to promote an effective response to marine spills of oil, chemicals and other hazardous substances” (ITOPF: About, 2010, par. ...
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Comparative Environmental Law on Oil Spills
There has been increasing public concern over oil spills in the recent years. Contemporary environment is facing many challenges regarding different forms of pollution. It is undisputable that oil pollution resulting from oil spillages is a significant threat to both aquatic and non-aquatic life either directly of indirectly.
Bioremediation – Mycoremediation: the role of fungi to rescue the Oil spills Oil spill is a form of pollution that is mainly caused due to the release of chemicals, namely the liquid petroleum hydrocarbons, into the environment, particularly in the marine areas.
Moreover, it also occurs in the land. “Oil spills happen when people make mistakes or are careless and cause an oil tanker to leak oil into the ocean. Equipments breaking down may also cause oil spills.” (Oil Spills, 2002). The factors lying behind the marine oil spills are due to the human activity or through any natural disaster like storms and hurricanes.
However, such an examination remains incomplete if the related researches conducted in the twentieth century are not consulted. Oil pollution has taken a grimly form in the last century. Oil pollution sources involve ship operations and bilge cleaning through the international waterways, road and municipal runoffs, petroleum combustion, natural seeps, and spills and accidents.
The disaster occurred in August, 2011. According to the estimates made by the department of energy and climate change, the company spilled several hundred tones of oil into the North Sea via the Gannet Alpha platform. North Sea has not seen a spill of this large a volume since the year 2000 when a company spilled about 500 tones.
It has been a common thing to find countries fighting over oil resources and such conflicts often result in disruption of the environment. The progression of oil mining, if not well managed, can result in environmental damage. Oil spills have cause irreparable damages in the natural habitats and wildlife.
The incident occurred on April 20, 2010 after an explosion on the BP owned and licensed, Transocean Drilling rig, Deepwater Horizon, sent millions of gallons of oil gushing towards the Gulf of Mexico; claiming over 11 lives in the process (The Guardian, 2010).
Oil exploration in the northern hemisphere is exceedingly complicated and an extremely expensive investment and GEP-Oil had entered into partnerships with investors from out of state in order to be able to explore for oil reserves in the arctic region.
However, some other effects are not immediate given that there have a potential effect of polluting the entire surrounding of the marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Moreover, these impacts have remained hidden for a long period and the results have been a disruption of food chain among organisms in the areas where the incidence has occurred.