Shipping site visitors reason for oil slicks in jap Arabian sea: Study

Shipping site visitors is the first reason for oil slicks within the jap Arabian Sea, contributing a bigger share (1024.8 sq. km) to the oil spills within the area between 2017and 2020than these brought on by oil fields situated at Bombay High off the coast of Maharashtra (843.90 sq. km), a brand new research by scientists on the National Institute of Oceanography has revealed.

“It is evident from the data that there are three regions where the density of oil spills is higher, indicating that these three regions are potential oil spill hot spots along the west coast of India — offshore of Gulf of Kachchh, Gujarat, offshore of Mumbai coast, Maharashtra, and offshore between south Karnataka and north Kerala states,” stated V Suneel, who oversaw the analysis.

Eastern Arabian Sea is extremely susceptible to grease air pollution resulting from rigs working within the area, excessive delivery exercise at west coast ports and worldwide oil tanker routes. Illegal cleansing of oil tankers, pipeline ruptures and dumping of business pollution within the nearshore area add to the catastrophic risk to its marine ecosystem.

The research by Suneel, V Trinadha Rao, and others made use of the freely accessible Sentinel-1 Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery to check year-to-year distribution of oil spills and establish the potential sizzling spots. It analysed satellite tv for pc imagery from 2017 to 2020. The analysis has been revealed within the peer-reviewed Marine Pollution Bulletin earlier this yr.

The scientists got down to hint sources of oil air pollution sources in jap Arabian Sea since India’s west coast is severely affected by it, as is commonly seen by the tar balls that wash ashore. In 2017 alone, the amount of spilled oil was estimated to be 129,392 litres, their evaluation discovered.


Near Gujarat, practically 52 oil slicks (17.56%) had been present in 356.58 sq km between 2017 and 2019. In offshore Maharashtra, there have been 176 oil slicks (59.45%) over 1022.14 sq. km in the identical interval, and at last, in Karnataka and Kerala, there have been 68 oil slicks (22.97%) over 475.92 sq. km space, the research discovered.

The research discovered a major discount in oil slicks off the Gujarat coast throughout 2020, which could possibly be because of the nationwide pandemic lockdown that noticed a lower in fishing exercise, which the researchers stated was additional proof that sea vessels contribute a serious portion of the oil air pollution.

There was a major discount of oil spills (solely 4.3 sq. km, accounting for 1.2%) in 2020 in comparison with different years in areas the place ship-based oil spills are dominant, presumably resulting from pandemic disruptions, the research stated.

However, there was no important discount in oil spills noticed over areas that see oil area based mostly spills (170.29 sq. km, accounting 16.66%) and the worldwide tanker routes (195.01 sq. km, accounting for 40.97%) throughout 2020, which was additional indication of energetic operations over these zones that didn’t cease throughout the pandemic may need precipitated the no discount, the research stated.

“This suggests that the ships that ply along the international tanker routes pass through this region may significantly contribute to oil pollution,” the researchers stated. “Further study is needed to understand the fate of oil spills occurring in those identified hot spot regions and their environmental consequences along the west coast of India.”

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