The Braer Oil Disaster - Essay outling the consiquences and effects of the Braer Oil Disaster

Essay by joshimitsu January 2004

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What are the consequences of a major oil spill at sea?

There are numerous consequences to an oil spill at sea. The biggest of which is the damage to wildlife in the area. Lots of sea mammals would be killed, including fish, plankton and bigger underwater organisms. This would disrupt the food chain, because the birds wouldn't be able to eat fish as they normally do. They would either not be able to find any, or the ones they did eat would give the birds illnesses or death. If the fish were killed, this would also effect the fishing industry in the local area, which is what most small islands thrive on. If a wind was to blow from the sea into the coast, there would be traces of oil on it which would cover many land animals in a thin greasy film. The beaches in the area would also be ruined, because usually when the tide comes in it deposits some normally harmless foam onto the beach.

If there is oil in the sea, then that will come in with the foam and seep into the sand, destroying the beach and most beach life.

What factors contributed to this particular disaster?

The main factor that contributed to the disaster was the weather. There were gale-force winds, which caused massive waves and poor visibility. The ship was already travelling very close to the shore line, and coupled with the strong winds, the ship eventually hit the rocks. The ships technology wasn't very good either, so it had minimal safety equipment on board and very little protection for the oil.

What are the main methods used to clear up oil spills?

There are several different methods used to clear up oil spills. One is that different chemicals are dropped on the...