Chennai oil spill: Ecologists for long-term study on slick impact

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Feb 5, 2017, 6:05 am IST
Updated Feb 5, 2017, 6:10 am IST
Coast Guard is using dispersants and this will certainly affect small micro-organisms.
Volunteers and staff from various government departments on Saturday join hands to clear the oil spill. (Photo: DC)
 Volunteers and staff from various government departments on Saturday join hands to clear the oil spill. (Photo: DC)

Chennai: Ecologists demand underwater study by marine scientists to evaluate the impact of the oil spill along Chennai coast and recommend damage control measures.

Coast Guard is using dispersants and this will certainly affect small micro-organisms and sea grass and this needs to be examined, said a senior professor attached to the Tamil Nadu fisheries university. He also said that the Ennore Port authorities should support long-term research projects to ascertain the impact of oil spill on native species.

 

“Sedentary organisms like mussels, clams, oysters should be studied. Similarly, the oil spill will certainly have an impact on micro organisms like planktons”, he said that the public can eat fish without any fear as the fishes and other movable organisms would have migrated due to pollution and the water quality will certainly improve by six months, the senior faculty said. As a safety measure public can stop eating oysters that are collected from Ennore, otherwise seafood is safe for consumption, he added.

“Though there is no immediate threat due to oil spills, there are possibilities for long term impact on large species like deep sea corals, turtles and cetaceans and this needs monitoring and scientific research like it is done in western countries”, said conservation scientist Dr A. Kumaraguru. The ocean is a vast area and these mammals will certainly avoid the polluted waters, but by studying their migratory movement some valid data can be ascertained in correspondence with pollutions, he added.

“On the management side, incidents like this should help us to chart out mitigation plans based on scientific data. In events like this, it is easier to blame each other or spread rumours unchecked about the fauna and flora of the area. Information like this should be assessed only on the scientific merits of the content”, opined marine biologist R. P. Kumaran. 

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