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13 Causes of Oil Pollution in the Ocean

by Fitriani

The ocean is a biggest container for water in the whole world. But the ocean water is vulnerable to all kinds of pollutants. These pollutants are mostly in the form of chemicals which is oil. Oil pollution is a serious concern for the ocean right now. It is a form of dangerous ocean pollution. It poses serious threats and effects to the ecosystem. This article contains the 13 Causes of Oil Pollution in the Ocean. Read on to find out what are causing the oil pollution in the ocean.

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1. Ships

Ships that travel along the oceans contribute as a cause to oil pollution. While they move along the waters, they carry oil along with them. Therefore, little oil leakage or spill happens quite often.

2. Oil Drill

Offshore oil drill happens with big companies. They go to a specific region in the ocean to drill. During the drilling process, it is not a strange sight when oil leakage occurs. However, if it happens frequently then it causes oil pollution.

3. Industries

There are a lot of industries on land that are close to the ocean area. However, these industries may let their toxic waste flow into nearby rivers. The water in the rivers end up in the ocean with the oil pollutant.

4. Water Pollution

Water pollution is a major cause to ocean acidification and potentially carry oil to the ocean too. Thus, the pollution also affects the ocean negatively. The more polluted the water is, the higher chance it contains oil. You may want to read ways to solve water pollution to contribute in stopping water pollution.

5. Big Accidents

Big accidents in oceans massively cause oil pollution. An example for this is the Gulf oil spill. An oil rig sank and polluted the water with a lot of oil. Another accident included a major oil rig explosion.

6. Equipment Break Down

From time to time, there is a high chance that oil could spill from equipment break down. These are equipment in the ocean owned by companies and industries.

7. Illegal Dumpers

Oil pollution can also happen due to illegal dumpers. People who dump oil illegally into the ocean contribute to the oil pollution in ocean. Therefore, people should manage oil waste better than just dumping it to the ocean.

8. Natural Oil Leak from Ocean Floor

Sometimes, oil would leak from the ocean floor. The oil mix with the ocean water. It is a natural event but can cause oil pollution if the ocean is not in a good health to regulate it.

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9. Maintenance Activities

Industries and companies carry out scheduled maintenance for the equipment in the ocean. During the maintenance process, there could be oil waste contaminating the ocean water. Also the amount of oil pollution could be huge.

10. Oil Storage Leakage

There are some oil storage under the ocean. Although the oil is contained there is no guarantee that the container is completely dependable. Small or big leakage can occur through the oil storage.

11. Oil Runoff from Roads

The roads are the main place where vehicles are out and about. While on the roads, these vehicles may leak oil. The oil will accumulate to the river and carried to the ocean. Thus, the ocean will experience another source of oil pollutant.

12. Water Sports Equipment

As fun as water sports are, they can cause oil pollution too. Motorboats or jet skis may leak oil into the ocean water. The higher the number of these water sports equipment, the larger the leakage percentage. This is especially a major concern when the equipment are in bad condition.

13. Oil Particle in Air

Vehicles on the road release gas into the air. Additionally the gas may contain small oil particle. The air transport the gas to the ocean. Furthermore, the ocean absorb the gas in the air and oil pollution slowly happens.

Effects from Oil Pollution in the Ocean

After knowing many causes of oil pollution in the ocean, we can now learn the effects which are listed down bellow. Learning the effects from oil pollution in the ocean is important because it allows us to know how dangerous the chemical is to the ocean’s health.

  • Harm Marine Mammals: Oil harm the natural function in marine mammals. These mammals have fur that keeps them warm. However, oil disrupt this ability. Thus, the mammals will experience hypothermia and die.
  • Damage Marine Creatures’ Organs: When oil is exposed for a long period of time in the ocean, marine creatures suffer. Their liver, heart and lungs undergo major changes. Moreover, they are damaged due to the harmful chemical.
  • Reduce Population Growth: Oil pollution affects the working of maintaining marine animals’ growth. Small eggs and larva have lesser chance of survival when exposed to oil.
  • Poison Marine Birds: Different types of ocean birds often bathe in the ocean water. Furthermore, they also drink the water in the ocean. They may mistake the oil pollution as normal ocean water. Thus, they could die from drinking it.
  • Kill Off Marine Plants: Oil pollution kill off many species of marine plants. Additionally, plants are very sensitive to slight changes. Any changes in the pH level or ocean component would mean less desirable habitat. The marine plants die without a good habitat to live in.
  • Destroying Food Chain: This effect is caused through oil pollution as well. Oil may kill any kind of small plants or creatures that come into their way. However, they are crucial food supply in the food chain. Moreover, when they die too early and too many, the food chain is ruined.

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Some causes of oil pollution are natural occurrences. However, most of them are mostly from human actions. Accidents and leakage from oil rig often happen in the ocean. As a result, the impact is not a short one, it can last for very long years. Along with that, many marine plants and animals could die from the pollution. Although avoiding accidents are out of our control, we should always keep trying to keep the ocean in good condition.

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