Saturday, June 22, 2013

Oil slicks

Oil slicks caused by oil tanker accidents and the dumping of rubbish resulting from the routine operations of ships and from illegal activities, such as releasing into the sea the oil residue from bilges or oil sediments from the tank, are major sources of pollution from hydrocarbons in our oceans. Nearly half of the pollution at sea caused by crude oil, and other refined products results from international maritime traffic.

Although oil slicks have a serious impact on ecosystems due to the concentration of pollutants in a particular area, as well as wide-reaching physical and chemical effects, the magnitude of marine pollution is much more far-reaching than that caused periodically by accidents. Pollution is often caused by sources on land, through the atmosphere, rivers, or costal surface run-off that makes its way to the seabed or seawaters. However, the pollution caused by international fleets should not be underestimated.

The lack of adequate waste reception facilities in ports to deal with the waste, the great number of old vessels, whose systems are unable to treat these products on board or retain them there until they can be discharged at reception centres, added to poor surveillance systems, inadequate legislation and the lack of scruples of some individuals and companies, mean that every year, millions of tons of hydrocarbons are dumped in our oceans.

No comments :

Post a Comment