Contamination of the oceans because of oil spillage is not rare. Ithappens all over the world every day, fouling coastlines, killing animals anddestroying fisheries.
In 1997, more than 3.5 million tons of oil werereleased into the world's oceans. Only 28 percent of the spillage was accidental;the remaining 72 percent was a result of deliberate, illegalactions.
Migrating seabirds like puffins, guillemots and razorbills areparticularly at risk when oil is spilled. Marine animals killed by oil are inturn eaten by other species and the poisons work their way up the marine foodchain.
Some of the worst oil pollution is caused by the cleaning ofships' oil storage tanks at sea. Stricter policies regarding this activity mustbe enforced. A vast amount of oil seeps into the ocean through sewers and rivers.One way people can reduce oil pollution is to return used motor oil to garagesfor recycling, rather than pouring it down the drain or buryingit.
Environmental disasters like oil spillage could be avoided ifgovernments enforced strict anti-pollution legislation.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.