Long term Effects on the Environment
· Interference with breeding by damaging reproductive organs, changing bird behavior when sitting on their eggs, or causing them to lay lesser a number of eggs.
· Damaging the skin, ear or nasal cavities.
· Damage to red blood cells, organs and tissues.
· Decrease in the thickness of the egg shells.
· Irrevocable damage to estuaries, coral reefs, seagrass and mangrove habitats that are crucial breeding grounds for many fishes, turtles and crustaceans.
· Poisoning of the young one through the mother when the young depends on the mother’s milk.
· Interference with feeding of marine animals like baleen whales that skim the surface water and filter it.
· Disturbances to nests, fish spawning grounds.
· Significant reduction in the population of animals due to immediate deaths and breeding interferences. This may even lead to animal endangerment or extinction.
· With species already at risk, hampering commercial fish stock and the livelihood of people who harvest them.
· Affecting the migration routes of animals like turtles and make them endangered.
· Effecting spawning season of sharks.
· Oils and hydrocarbons may remain in coastal sediments for months and years, which can cause drastic breeding problems for oysters, turtles, etc.
· Suspended in ocean water, the oil can slowly deplete the oxygen content of the water, posing a serious threat to a range of marine animals like plankton, mussels, clams, crabs, eels, jellyfish, shrimp and deep-sea corals.
· Oil may seep into the habitat of coastal birds like herons, pelicans, egrets and can stay there for years causing complete habitat loss.
Thus there are many animals affected by an oil spill that even on a minor scale can create irreparable damages to both environment and living organisms.