Oils spills

The oil spill supposedly from two ships that collided near the Ennore Port, north of Chennai, on Saturday, spread along the city’s shoreline further down up to the famed Marina Beach. On Monday morning, the local fishermen and the morning walkers were shocked to find not just thick black oil along the beach, but a number of turtles that were washed ashore dead.

Environmental experts said the spill could have a long lasting impact on marine life, even to the extent of causing irreparable damage.

Fisherfolk were already complaining on Sunday about finding a lot of dead fish in the sea and being unable to go fishing but the situation turned grave on Monday.

A team of scientists from coastal and ocean monitoring agencies have start ed work to predict the trajectory of oil spill and its impact on the coastal water and marine eco-system. The teams will monitor a radius of 30km from the location of the spill for the next few months as the slick can spread in all directions.

Water samples will test various parameters including levels of oxygen, pH, nitrate and nitrite and silicate in water as well as the levels of hydrocarbons in the oil. It will then be compared with the data collected from the same location prior to the oil spill.The analysis of the data will give scientists a clear picture of the impact on the water quality and the marine organisms. “Phytoplanktons (mi croscopic plants) and zooplanktons (microscopic organisms) which are at the bottom of the acquatic food chain may be affected due to the oil. Fish may also die if the oil chokes its gills. We will, however, start to see the full impact of the spill in the next few days.”


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