OIL SPILLS: THREAT TO MARINE LIFE

Deeksha Yajurvedi

Abstract


Millions of people as well as flora and fauna are getting affected by the above calamities all over the world.In the recent times there seems to be a quantitative increase in the frequency of natural diasters. In this context need of the hour is to foster  proper disaster mangement strategies. Disaster management (or emergency management) is the creation of plans through which communities reduce vulnerability to hazards and cope with disasters. Disaster management does not avert or eliminate the threats; instead, it focuses on creating plans to decrease the effect of disasters. Among the various natural disasters ,the one man made disaster which is posing the utmost threat to aquatic marine life is oil spills. The consequences of spills adversely affect harbours,beaches,wild life, fisheries, tourism and society. An oil spill is the release of liquid petroleum hydrocarbon into the environment, especially marine areas, due to human activity and is a form of pollution. This term is usually applied for marine oil spills, where oil is dispersed into the oceans or coastal water accidently. Dispersants are the chemicals that break up the oil. They act like soap, breaking the oil up into tiny droplets. These droplets are then eaten up by the bacteria present in the sea. So, chemical dispersants can be used to break down the oil and speed up its natural biodegradation. However, many dispersants are toxic chemicals themselves, and are used sparingly. Dispersants should not be used as it can affect marine organisms.


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References


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