Millennium Post

Marine ecosystem at stake!

Marine ecosystem at stake!
How does oil spill harm animals and plants in marine environments?
Oil spills affect animals and plants in two ways: from the oil itself and from the response or clean-up operations.

Spilled oil can harm living things because its chemical constituents are poisonous. This can affect organisms both from internal exposure to oil through ingestion or inhalation and from external exposure through skin and eye irritation.

Oil can smother some small species of fish or invertebrates and coat feathers and fur, reducing birds' and mammals' ability to maintain their body temperatures.
Since most oils float, the creatures most affected by oil are animals like sea otters and seabirds that are found on the sea surface or on shorelines. They can easily be harmed by oil, since their ability to stay warm depends on their fur remaining clean.

Some light oils, such as gasoline and diesel, can ignite and explode. They can kill animals or plants that they touch, and they also are dangerous to humans who breather their fumes or get them on their skin.

Some heavy oils can result in chronic health diseases like tumours, cancer etc.

Adult fish may experience reduced growth, enlarged livers, changes in heart and respiration rates. Oil also adversely affects eggs and larval survival.

Can sonar kill marine mammals?

Underwater sonar can lead to injury or even death, in the case of many whales, dolphins and other marine life. The rolling sound waves are around 235 decibels and travel for hundreds of miles under water. Whales are tortured by the intensity of these signals, due to which whales flee, rising to the surface at a rapid rate. Marine mammals accumulate nitrogen in their blood when deep underwater and they are required to exhale it while surfacing. However, whales may neglect to do so because of the speed at which they rise . Instead of dissipating, the nitrogen gas forms bubbles that erupt and causes serious damage to vital organs. As a result, the whales wind up on beaches,
where they die.

What is coral bleaching and why is it bad for humans ?
Corals are millions of living creatures. When they are hurt by changes in temperature, light, or pollutants, they expel the algae living in their tissues, causing them to turn completely white. Bleached corals have reduced growth rates, decreased reproductive capacity, increased vulnerability to diseases and elevated mortality rates.

Changes in coral communities also affect the species that depend on them, such as the fish and invertebrates that rely on live coral for food, shelter, or recruitment habitat. Change in the abundance and composition of reef fish occur when corals die as a result of coral bleaching. This can translate into reduced catches for fishers targeting reef fish species, which in turn leads to impacts on food supply and associated economic activities. Degraded coral reefs cannot protect the land and this starts getting eroded by the sea. Humans have less land and less fish
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