Oil can alter entire food webs. Jenna Bardoff says that, “If phytoplankton are poisoned by oil, those who eat poisoned phytoplankton will also be harmed, and so will the animal that consumes the animal that ate the phytoplankton,” (http://www.onegreenplanet.org). When an animal lower in the food chain is in contact with oil, all the animals that eat it will be poisoned, and so on. Consequently, when this happens animals’ populations are changing. Because of oil, predator populations are decreasing and prey populations are increasing.
The morning of March 19th 1849, the news of an oil spill in the coast of Alaska spread through the United States like a wild fire. The damage caused by this horrific accident has said to be unfixable. This resulted in the spill of 260,000 to 750,000 barrels of oil. The vessel was going a route that was outside of the normal lanes in order to avoid ice. In the six hours of grounding, the Exxon Valdez spilled 10.9 million gallons of its 53 million gallon cargo of Prudhoe Bay Crude, 8 out of the 11 tanks on board were damaged.
There is an estimated amount of two hundred and seventy thousand tons of plastic floating in the ocean (Main). When a whale eats plastic it sits in the stomach and eventually clogs the flow of the digestive tract. After the digestive tract becomes blocked the whale is unable to digest any real food. Not only does that threaten many marine animals, it is the main role of rising extinction rates for land animals as well. In 2010 an estimated sixteen sperm whales have been killed from gill nets (Kirby).
Still to this day, the Gulf War oil spill remains the worst disaster of its kind. This spill resulted in the death of over 10 thousand sea birds and threatened sea turtles and marine mammals in the surrounding areas (Baumann, 2001). The second largest oil spill was the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, also known as the Gulf of Mexico, or BP Oil Spill that occurred more recently in 2010. This oil spill was caused by a surge of natural gases resulting in the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig. The explosion occurred while workers were at the rig attempting to activate the blow-out preventer, this BOP malfunctioned and the rig exploded killing 11 workers and injuring 17.
Manatees are mammals known to live for about 50-60 years, but unfortunately, they were short-lived and died after ingesting/inhaling toxins, which later affected their organs. In the cases of the deceased manatees, it was found that severe renal, hepatic, cerebral, pulmonary, and nasopharyngeal congestion was found. Through the use of *immunohistochemical staining, traces of brevetoxins were found in the secondary lymphoid tissues, lung, and liver. Toxic algae in the water is recognized for moving through the air like a powder, which puts manatees at risk due to inhalation. Also, toxic algae may be found in the plants that they eat, affecting their gastrointestinal system.
Countries such as Japan and Iceland are illegally killing hundreds of whales a year. There is still much to be learned about these beautiful creatures, but one thing is for sure: whaling without regulation will result in the extinction of many whale species. Whales are one of the most mysterious creatures in the ocean and it is sad to think of a world without them. Before we decide that whaling is completely evil and should be stopped immediately, one must remember that aboriginal
They also cause erosion on land, destroying most animal’s habitats and even leaving some islands underwater. Forests become destroyed and force animals to relocate, if they were able to survive the hurricane.
The Deepwater Horizon disaster had several health concerns other than claiming lives of eleven people. Reports by Solomon & Janssen (2010) show that over eight hundred thousand seabirds died after the incident and also many whales and dolphins died or were severely affected by the disaster. More than fifty thousand people who were involved in the clean-up activities were exposed to dangerous chemicals which would have adverse effects on their health. The effects of spillage could bring health problems to the fish consumers and also the reduction in fish consumption led to a decline in the fishing industry leading to loss of
Chris Woodford (Water Pollution: an Introduction 1) explains “Each year, the world generates perhaps 5–10 billion tons of industrial waste, much of which is pumped untreated into rivers, oceans, and other waterways.” Radioactive wastes and oil spills affect the wildlife living in these areas in great ways. In 1989, Exxon Valdez created one of the biggest oil spills in United States waters. Around 12 million gallons (44 million liters) of oil were released into the pristine wilderness, enough to fill your living room over 800 times. Around 1,000-28,000 sea
These plants sometimes look red due to their photosynthetic pigments. Now they may not seem harmful, but they are a huge threat to fish and humans. The reason they are a threat to fish is because the algae irritates the fish’s gills, eventually suffocating them. The reason they are harmful to humans is because they cause millions of dollars of damage because of they have to clean up a massive amount of dead fish, beaches have to be closed to the problem is resolved, fisheries and shell fisheries are closed to harvesting. Unfortunately, people also have to go to the hospital to get the bio toxins removed because they ate this specific
Whaling fleets killed “an estimated 1 million sperm whales between the 18th and 20th century and hundreds and thousands of almost every type of baleen wales such as the right and bowhead whales” (McLendon). Bowheads have been hunted for nearly 400 years, eventually reducing their population to about 8% of its prewhaling average. The North Atlantic right whale now numbers around 300, and the population is nearly extinct. The decimating population of various species of whales will have fatal effects
Overfishing is certainly an environmental issue because it affects the planets ecosystem due to human interference. One example of this is when a marine species is exploited, other species are also affected directly. According to the article, ‘Global Consequences of Overfishing’ states that, “...recent studies suggest that overfishing of large shark species has had a ripple effect in the shark 's food chain, increasing the number of species, such as rays, that are usual prey for large sharks, which result in declining stocks of smaller fish and shellfish favored by these species” It is also important to mention that overfishing often leads to the killing of other animals unintentionally. This is called bycatching. Some marine species that are affected by bycatching are juvenile fish, bottom feeding organisms, sharks, whales, sea turtles, and birds.
Garling also notes that in 1995 an eight-acre hog waste lagoon in North Carolina burst, and that it spilled 25 million gallons of manure into the New River. “The spill killed about 10 million fish and closed 364,000 acres of coastal wetlands to
Many different theories have been suggested to explain why the East Coast Fishery collapsed. A few examples include overfishing, destructive fishing practices, and changes in natural conditions. Primarily, overfishing plays a huge role in the collapse of the East Coast Fishery. The amount of catch allowed by the federal government was extensively high. Scientists may have overestimated the number of fish reaching adulthood each year, due to this more fish were caught then reached maturity.
The biggest danger to species becoming endangered, or even extinct, is human development and growth. For example, Loggerhead sea turtles have been considered a threatened species since 1978 (Top 10 US Endangered Species). With over half of the world’s population living within 150 miles of the shoreline, these sea turtles face beach nesting site destruction, nesting interferences, and bycatch death by commercial fishing nets (Top 10 US Endangered Species). Most loggerhead sea turtles nest along the Florida coast. The human population in Florida has doubled within the last 30 years, making it increasingly difficult for the turtles to find nesting grounds (Top 10 US Endangered Species).