An information produced by Coruña Science Museums Aegean Sea. 1992 Prestige.

2002 Scientific Communication Monographs Edition made with the sponsorship of 03 oil spills E l Prestige tanker accident dyed black again Coruña coast when the tenth anniver sary of the disaster of the Aegean Sea. Coruña Science Museum, which opened a h otline to collect the main concerns and worries of citizens, this monograph edit ed to meet their demand for information. Oil spills are major oil spills, or som e of its derivatives-in the marine environment, which can cause serious ecologic al damage, especially when they reach the coast. ! What is the difference between oil and fuel? E l Oil is a natural product which is made up overwhelmingly of a mixture of subst ances called hydrocarbons. Refineries are the places where these mixtures are se parated by distillation, depending on the volatility of each of these substances . The lighter can evaporate quickly, such as propane and butane, while the less volatile solids are called tars. Between them are the kerosene, gasoline, gas oi ls and fuel oils. The fuel is less volatile than oil and is less flammable. ! How long does it take to recover from an area affected by an oil slick? D ince the ecologically seems that populations of organisms that have undergone ma jor discharges recover within one to three years. This time, however, depends on many factors including the type of coast and the prevailing swell. Thus, in the most battered by the sea recovery can happen in less than a year, while in estu aries and the rivers more protected this time increases to seven years or more. ! Are these discharges degrade naturally? L Oil Dispersion I spilled oil and its derivatives undergo natural degradation that involves phys ical, chemical and biological. The lighter components, for example, evaporate mo re quickly the higher the wind speed and temperature. Sunlight and oxygen also c ause chemical degradation of the discharge. The heaviest components are disperse d by the sea in the form of droplets that can remain for weeks, and if they are sensitive can be carried by currents to distant places. There are organisms such as bacteria and fungi that break down these substances, but its action is slowe r. ! Why do organisms die affected by an oil slick? or a set of actions among which include the lack of light, suffocation, starvati on, paralysis, poison and cold. Spills covering small agencies can act as a kind

of glue that prevents them from performing movements and many of its vital func tions like breathing, then died of asphyxiation. Most of the algae die concerned being unable to breathe and also to make their food due to lack of light. For l ack of oxygen also die a lot of egg production. The death of algae and tiny orga nisms leads to death, starvation, other species that eat them. The fuel intake w ill also cause the poisoning of animals. Stained feathers of birds fail to fulfi ll one of its main functions, to protect against the cold. EDUARDO GONZALEZ EDUARDO GONZALEZ P ! What determines that discharges from reaching the coast? E ! What is the sulfur content of a landfill? anto oil and its derivatives are substances that contain sulfur. And the unpleas ant odor of the discharge is mainly due to sulfur compounds. The content of thes e substances is related to product quality, lower quality to higher content. One of the reasons that justify this rating is that sulfur compounds are more pollu ting. If burned, sulfur atmosphere and reach the end to form sulfuric acid, whic h is a component of acid rain. The Prestige oil has high sulfur content. l wind is the factor that determines the direction and speed of the fuel surface stains, but its effects are rapidly reduced in depth. Between September and Mar ch, Galicia dominate those from the south and west. It is estimated that a fuel slick surface can advance 3% of the speed of the wind that pushes. Winds can als o move the surface waters submerged causing their displacement in a direction th at is perpendicular to its direction at the surface and whose meaning is contrar y to the waterfront.€The movement of surface water is also influenced by the Ea rth's rotation, an effect that can change the path defined by the wind. Re a s M t mean tons T ! Can you get to our shores the content sunken Prestige? hereas the ship is badly damaged it is possible that the enormous pressures it c rushed and the contents can escape. Although it seems likely that the fuel has b ecome a solid, what happens depends on the strength of the oil tanks and density that you purchase on freezing. If it is less dense than water, such as cork or wood, if it escapes to the surface will, otherwise remain in the background (and will be an unexpected source of nutrients, especially for microorganisms, which are used as food other living things). It could also be part of the fuel is not cooled fast enough to solidify, so that amount and would be again at the mercy of the winds, and consequently, could reach the coast. C ! Can dissolve the fuel and reach the seabed? l fuel is formed by a set of chemicals with similar characteristics. Although sl owly, these components will degrade and dissolve in the sea. At the same time, t his process will cause the fuel becomes increasingly dense until it loses buoyan cy, at which time it will sink and be deposited on the seabed. E

The destruction of the sea of Galicia, photographed by Eduardo Gonzalez Villarno vo, skippers and contributor Sarridal Aquarium. Like many other contributors and other fishermen, suffer first disastrous consequences of dumping ! Is it possible to repopulate the rocks with barnacles? H oday not make any direct recruitment activity, management of populations of barn acles is controlling catches and establishing closed areas. Although also suffer from toxicity, the main effect of the spill on the barnacles is physical, due t o the fuel layer that covers: causes mechanical difficulties that may prevent fo od and cause suffocation. Among juvenile mortality will be stronger the smaller size but larger ones may survive to this day if they resist enough to handle the waves to clean the rocks. The babies are swimming larvae of barnacles also suff er the harmful effects of fuel. ! What do you do with the dumping to be found in the sea and the beaches? l fuel that is recovered in the sea can be integrated into the production chain of a refinery. However, that is collected on the beaches is mixed with sand and get a treatment similar to the oils. Mixed with clay, calcined in a furnace to p roduce ceramic materials. E ! What fish market are most affected? ! Is it dangerous to touch the landfill? or should be played without taking action. May cause irritation to the skin and cause conjunctivitis and irritation of the respiratory mucosa by inhalation. So we need to handle it with gloves and protected by masks and clothing. T black ll make a living food web in which some depend on others to survive. The basis o f this network are mainly microscopic algae. Therefore, the first fish to be aff ected will be dependent on them, and then that feed on other microscopic organis ms or small animal. This would apply to sardines and rock fish (wrasses, bream, etc). Thus, for lack of food, were also affected populations of bream, monkfish and hake. The mortality from starvation or ingestion of contaminated animals can be extended to all species of the food web. To this end we must add the mortali ty of the larvae of many fish that in some cases, can put people in critical con dition. N ! What can happen if you eat animals from affected areas? S i animals in the affected areas containing oil, even in small quantities, they e xperience a major change in its taste and odor. This results in a backlash in th e consumer, which makes their consumption poisoning. If ingestion occurs, the co nsequences would be digestive disorders, and a narcotic effect whose intensity w ould vary depending on the amount ingested. EFE

! How can affect the discharge into the Aquarium? ne of the main features of this tank is that it contains living things in their coastal environment and it uses water drawn from the sea. These waters are not c hemically treated, because this will improve survival and settlement of the vari ous species of algae and invertebrates (especially sponges, worms, corals, algae ,€anemones, etc). If the landfill were to enter the premises the tenants would suffer the same consequences as those exposed on the outside. What would cause a serious problem is that the fuel gets into water systems, as useless and would cause the death of the entire maintenance system. In these circumstances all the species would die inside. U LOBATO Xurxo ! Why birds do not escape the black tide? ome experts showed that the birds are not able to detect changes in water and, w hen searching for food on the sea surface, eventually contacting the spill. It i s also possible that some species precipitation over the area believe that the s pot is a school of fish. Some species, such as gulls, try to avoid rising oil la yer. Others, like cormorants and murres do diving, but if the discharge has a ve ry large area, it is difficult to achieve clean water. A ! Can mussels die a punt? GIL CARLOS Xoan ! Do any of the extinct species affected by the spill? episodes as oil slicks are located in a very specific geographic area, so they a re unlikely to cause the extinction of a marine species, which is usually spread over vast areas of ocean, what they produce is the disappearance of entire popu lations of individuals, not of a species. But there may be some exceptions. In t he sea are called endemic species, ie those that live only in a specific geograp hic region and under very specific conditions. Abound, for example, coral reefs of the tropics. If they saw an oil slick affected by many become extinct. bivalve mollusks I resist pretty well the first impact of an oil spill. By closi ng their valves for extended periods of time, can be isolated and protected from the outside. However, if the pollution persists abrasive and toxic effect is so intense that, when applied to a tray of mussel farming, causing a large number of casualties, especially among the smaller ones. If the pan is located in an ar ea protected from waves (as is usual in the Galician) the pernicious effect inte nsifies and increases mortality. On the other hand, the mussels must filter a la rge amount of water (each individual to one hundred liters a day) to retain the food particles that feed. So they can get to concentrate on your body large amou nts of toxins found in water. L L MANUEL JOSE CASAL ! What living things suffer from the effects of an oil slick? agencies you more sensitive to the effects of oil pollution are those living fix ed to the substrate or who have limited mobility and therefore can not escape. T hese should point to algae and invertebrates, as many molluscs (clams, cockles, mussels, snails and periwinkles), crustaceans (crabs, small crabs and lubrigante

s) L sea anemones, sponges, corals or marine worms. Many of these people live in shel tered areas (such as estuaries, coastal lagoons, bays and estuaries) where it do es not reach the cleaning effect of the waves and where, therefore, oil slicks h ave a very long time. In the fine bottom sediments of the most sheltered dischar ges pollutants can persist for up to 25 years. EFE Maritime traffic ! Why so many accidents happen on the Galician coast? ach year Finisterre pass in front of between 40,000 and 60,000 merchant ships (a bout 120 per day) of which 13% carry hazardous materials. Some are to the Galici an ports, like oil tankers calling at the refinery Coruña. This intense traffic is channeled into a two-way maritime highway that maintains the separation betw een the ship and away between 20 and 30 miles from the coast (from 37 to 55.6 km .) Although boat traffic is controlled, the hardness of the sea, especially duri ng the winter storms and the danger of the coast, make Galicia is the European r egion with the highest number of accidents of this type. C Coruña Science Museums