Rewas and Mandwa, which had oil. "There should be surveys to check on contamination every two
days,” he said. Apte said the fl
ora and fauna in inter tidal areas and shallow waters would beaffected. Oil and toxins will accumulate in smaller fish, which will enter the food chain because large
fish feed on them,” said Apte. Apart from the oil affecting marine life, scientists worki
ng in fisheriessaid oil would obstruct light from penetrating the water. The absence of photosynthesis will affect the
growth of floating plants,” said C.S. Purshottaman, head aquatic environment management division,
Central Institute of Fisheries Education, Versova.
WHAT IS AN OIL SPILL?
It is a mass of floating oil covering an area of water, especially oil that has leaked ordischarged from a ship or liquid petroleum hydrocarbon from an oil tanker, Commonlyreferred to as marine oil spills and a form of pollution, they include releases of crude oilfrom tankers, offshore platforms, drilling rigs and wells, as well as spills of refinedpetroleum products
gasoline and diesel-and heavier fuels used by large ships, such asbunker fuel, or the spill of any oily refuse or waste oil.
When oil stops floating on the surface, it starts to sink into the sea. It reduce theoxygen content in the water and can kill or contaminate fish and smaller organismsimportant to the underwater ecosystem. An oil spill can also take a toll if large numbersof fish eggs or larvae are exposed to it.
ON MARINE MAMMALS
When mammals such as whales and dolphins swallow oil, it can clog their lungs andmake it difficult for them to breathe. It also disrupts their ability to communicate.Marine mammals could die of poisoning because they could eat fish exposed to the oil.
Birds that swim and dive for food can get their feathers coasted with oil, making itdifficult for them to fly. It also destroys their waterproofing and insulation, thusexposing them to overheating. If they swallow the oil, it damages their internal organsand could lead to death. Oil spills can also disrupt migratory patterns by contaminatingareas where migrating birds normally stop. For instance, the Exxon Valdez oil spill in1989 at Alaska killed 250,000 to 500,000 sea birds.
ON COASTAL MARSHES, MANGROVES, WETLANDS
The plants absorb the oil which chokes their roots and damages the fragile eco-system.
ON WILDLIFE HABITATS AND BREEDING GROUND
Spill can affect nesting and breeding cycles as well as seasonal migrations of variousspecies.