Economic Effects of Oil Spills



Apart from revenue from oil and gas, Trinidad also depends heavily on Tourism.After an oil spill, high economic loss is experienced by persons dependent on coastal resources, clean up activities is also very costly. When an oil spill occurs, fisheries and tourism sectors are where the greatest impacts are felt. Business activities are affected, many sectors fall victim to loss of earnings.

An oil spill disrupts activities such as fishing ,swimming ,boating and diving .These activities are all part of tourism, normal activities and business (trade of seafood) will resume as long as the shorelines are clean. The public’s perception of the calamity of an oil spill  can also affect tourism negatively, since tourism dependent businesses such as hotels , tour operations and their suppliers are all interconnected ,they would collectively experience losses.

Oil spills affects fisheries and mariculture resources negatively since contamination of the water would directly disrupt business activities and quality of yields being produced, the yields would also decreased since access to some of these fishing sites would be impeded.  Some factors that could determine the extent to which the oil spill would impact the economy  are , the type of business and fishing activity affected, the characteristics of the spilled oil, the physical (environmental) characteristics of the marine environment and coast and the extent to which market confidence in the quality of seafood being produced from the affected is also an important factor.

Furthermore, industries that heavily rely on seawater for operations can be at high risks if intakes are close  to the surface. If these industrial plants are responsible for meeting needs on a national scale, the disruptions can be far reaching.

It is impossible to predict how long after an oil spill  economic impacts  would persist because physical impacts would persist until the vast majority of oil has been removed by cleanup operations. In a situation where fisheries and tourism is concerned, the impacts may be more long lived due to negative publicity and the public’s perceptions. A thorough regularly exercised contingency plan , taking into consideration the economic profile of a particular area would assist in formulating proper measures to mitigate the economic effects of an oil spill.

Thank you for coming back to the blog! I hope you come again next week for more interesting information on Oil spills. Any questions would be entertained in the comments section ! 🙂

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