photo by : World environment (2010)
Oil spills pose major threats to human and wildlife. Loss of habitat and wildlife (death of animals, destruction of habitat and altered feeding relationships).Exposure of the oil spill to animals can lead to the consumption of contaminated food which is detrimental to human health. Affects trade (exportation of seafood and trade among local business men). Loss of livelihood (as it is a fisherman’s man source of income). Negative impacts on the economy such as a reduction in tourism. It also causes reduction in the value of property, and there is long term interruption of fishing activities.
Some methods that can be introduced to mitigate the effects of oil spills can be the initiation of oil eating microbes (archaea) ,this is the simplest, fastest and most effective remedy. The oil eating capabilities of various strains of archaea can clean both soils and waterways from a wide variety of environmental toxins, including oil spills of any size, both on land and in the ocean.
Measures such as effective monitoring of oil and gas facilities (Petrotrin) can be taken, it was reported one of the main pipelines that leaked had not been checked for approximately fifteen years. In addition to this, The Environmental Management Authority, Petrotrin Health and Safety Department, neighborhood watch groups and Regional Corporations can all come together in mitigating such events like this in the future. Clear polices for repairs and maintenance of facilities (oil and gas) should be put in place. It is better to be proactive as opposed to being reactive. There can be networking with foreign agencies and governments for implementation of the best practices. Government, Universities and other schools play a role in educating the population about the environment.
An Oil spill could be a disaster once, if proper measures are adopted history doesn’t have to repeat itself.