With the current level of industrialization, oil spills occur quite regularly. Millions of gallons of waste oil annually come from land drainage and waste disposal. Offshore drilling also contributes to the global marine pollution as well as ships and tankers that cross the ocean. The largest accidental spill of oil was recorded in the Persian Gulf in 1991 when several tankers with oil were destroyed during the military conflict.
Coastal and marine ecosystems are the first to suffer from massive spillages. Coastal fisheries feel the consequences immediately as the bulk of fish dies from the contamination. Oil destroys coastal substrate and organisms living in it so that the food chain used by birds and mammals is broken. Oil destroys insulation of fur-bearing mammals and water resistance of birds. Affected species may die from hypothermia or become unadjusted to the environment. Their reproductive ability drops dramatically which may put specific local species on the verge of extinction.
If a large amount of oil spills in the ocean, human activities come to end as well. Not only fishing but also tourism and recreational facilities become neglected. The entire industries stop functioning so that GDP falls rapidly.
Oil spillage frequently has long-term consequences. Despite companies responsible for the incident can pay penalties to cover the losses and clean the coast, the wild nature remains damaged anyway. Humans cannot completely clean polluted soils and water as well as reverse fatal processes within the affected ecosystem. Damage to the human health may reveal years after oil spilled into the ocean.