Marine pollution is a significant issue in our today’s world. There are various sorts of marine pollution, but one of them is oil pollution. The majority of oil contamination instances we find in the maritime zone are caused by oil extraction or transportation. Oil spills are caused by the last two factors, and oil spills have a wide range of consequences along the coast.

What is pollution created by an oil spill?

The meaning of the word “oil spill pollution” refers to the perceived effects of oil spills on the environment and the living creatures that live it, including humans, as a result of the release into the environment of the organic components that constitute crude oil and petroleum distillation products, the majority of which contain multiple individual hydrocarbons. It is crucial to explain what oil pollution is, as well as to gain a better understanding of what an oil spill is. An oil spill is defined as any leak of crude oil or petroleum products that might taint the air, surface, or aquatic environments, such as diesel fuels, jet fuels, hydraulic oils, kerosene, lubricating oils, and gasoline. Oil spill contamination can range from a few thousand to millions to hundreds of millions of liters spilled. Spillages in the coastal and marine ecosystems seas are usually referred to as “oil spills in the ocean and coastal areas.”

The Causes of oil spill pollution

Every phenomenon in the world is caused by one or more variables, and we can see that many factors can contribute to oil spill pollution in our case. Oil spills, normal shipping, run-offs, and spills contaminate our oceans on a daily basis. 12 is the percentage of oil spills of the total oil entering ocean waters; the rest is from ships, run-offs, and spills. Since a large amount of oil can be spilled at a single point, an oil spill from a tanker is a serious hazard. It is a concern, but it can be very harmful to marine wildlife, such as birds, sea otters, and fish. Oil is a liquid body that does not dissolve in water and instead forms a thick sludge. It suffocates marine animals such as fish, clings to the feathers of birds preventing them from flying, and prevents aquatic plants from catching the light.

How it could affect us? 

The chemical components can have various effects on humans and the marine ecosystem.

Some oil components can irritate our skin when in direct contact with it, and they can also enter our bodies through absorption. Many components are volatile, so they can evaporate easily when inhaled, and they can enter our organs through inhalation. There are some substances that are less volatile that can adsorb to dust and other particles that are microscopic and suspended in the air we breathe and can enter our bodies. As a result of ingesting water or particles that have been polluted. There is also the fact that the strong and unpleasant smell of oil and its derivatives such as petrol or diesel can be disturbing.

Indirectly, the aquatic items we eat, such as fish, may be contaminated. Indirectly, as a result of consuming tainted food. Oil contamination has disrupted recreational and professional activities in several places. Property value decline in impacted areas, it is realistic to predict a decrease in the value of houses in a polluted area. It alters people’s perceptions of the ocean, beaches, and other settings from an aesthetic standpoint (where there has been an oil spill). If there is an oil spill off the coast, it will have an economic impact.

The case of Senegal ?

Senegal is a country that has just discovered oil and gas off its coast. They will start extracting oil in 2023. To be more precise, the Sangomar project in Senegal, which is expected to produce seventy-five thousand to one hundred thousand barrels of oil per day. Senegal’s marine oil pollution is expected to increase as a result of this concern. And given what has happened in the offshore area of this country over the last year, it is natural to be concerned and to start thinking about how we can defend the Senegalese coastline. Every year spills from platforms, pipelines, tankers, and coastal installations release an average of one hundred and fifty-seven thousand barrels of oil into the world. This puts the Beaches, our coasts, and the economy at unreasonable risk. The coastline is home to a plethora of commercial and social activities. Offshore drilling, for example, is estimated to provide 86,000 jobs in Virginia, USA.

Starting Thinking how to anticipate the oil spills pollution in Senegal

Accidents or negligence are the main causes of oil pollution. Oil enters the ocean especially after refueling, but it can also escape during the operation of the ship. The oil comes from ballast water that is impure, from cleaning the oil tanks of ships, from the water coming from the holds, from the sludge as well, from the fuel residue, and the oil used on recreational boats. Pipeline accidents are also a concern.

All petroleum products, such as diesel fuel, engine oil, and gasoline oil, are harmful to the environment and people, no matter how they are spilled. Fuel and oil, in addition to retaining lethal metals, deplete oxygen levels in the water, obstruct sunlight and generally damage water quality.

That is why the Senegalese government should create a committee or a cell on oil spills to help reduce oil and fuel pollution. Any operation requiring the use of fuel and oil must be carried out in such a way as to reduce the risk rate to a minimum figure.


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