Home Biologist Marine biologists fear spill in Thailand could devastate protected coral reef – The Organization for World Peace

Marine biologists fear spill in Thailand could devastate protected coral reef – The Organization for World Peace


Two weeks ago, on January 25, Thailand experienced a devastating oil spill that many believe could cause irreversible damage to its sensitive coral reefs, possibly due to a mechanical malfunction in one of the many platforms. offshore oil forms owned by Star Petroleum Refining Company Limited (SPRC). ). Rayong Beach was one of the first places to be considered a disaster area since the initial spill at Mae Ramphueng Beach three days later.

Although the amount of oil released into the ocean is still under investigation, scientists and environmental organizations are concerned about how long it will take to clean up the spill. With estimates ranging from 400,000 liters of oil to 20,000 liters of oil, many organizations are beginning to question the honesty of the SPRC’s investigation, especially given the country’s use of dispersants and the ‘business. Often used to break down crude oil into small soluble particles, the use of dispersants to clean up spilled oil to protect tourist sites has received very unfavorable reaction.

According to Thon Thamrongnawasawat, a marine biologist at Kasetsart University, these dispersants only make the oil harder to clean up. This allows oil to sink deeper into marine ecosystems, causing more damage to natural reef structures that are already suffering from the climate crisis. Fortunately, dispersants were not the only strategy in place to clean up spilled crude oil. Many volunteers from all over Thailand joined the Thai Navy to collect the oil before reaching the beaches and coral reefs with boats, plastic bags, hoes and their bare hands.

Although the cleanup efforts illustrate the unity of the Thai government and its community, they stand in stark contrast to the priorities of both parties: protecting tourism versus protecting the environment. As statements continue to be released by several Thai government officials illustrating their desire to protect tourist sites, with the welfare of coral reefs being a secondary concern, the question arises: how can a country predict that it will suffer the worst effects of climate change? put its tourism before the well-being of its coral reefs and its inhabitants? This unfair emphasis on tourism, and its indirect protection from fossil fuels, is not a sustainable way to mitigate future devastating crises resulting from climate change and can only lead to greater destruction in the decades to come.

As various environmental organizations have stated over the past few weeks regarding Thailand and the rest of the world, the only way to avoid the devastation that future oil spills will cause is to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and move towards more sustainable energy sources. energy. One of the biggest concerns presented by these same organizations is the realistic duration of the cleanup. Although the Thai government has declared the affected area free of most of the released oil, the last oil spill in 2013 took more than five years to be completely cleared of all crude oil. Given the use of dispersants, even if the remaining crude oil is cleaned up, it remains to be seen when the smaller particles will stop impacting the region’s marine ecosystem.

As climate change continues to devastate natural and man-made environments around the world, we, as a global society, must rethink what and who we protect in the face of climate-related crises. We need to look at events like this and learn from our own mistakes as well as those of neighboring countries. We are imperfect, but we can still move towards a sustainable future for all living creatures that inhabit our planet. Only through change can we ensure a safe and livable world for generations to come.