Over the weekend, a 40,000-liter oil spill occurred off Guarello Island in Chile. This made it necessary for the Chilean Navy to be deployed to the area to contain the spill.
This was brought to the navy’s attention by the mining company CAP, which was operating on the island at the time.
A statement was released by officials stating that this spill could have devastating effects on the environment.
As of Sunday, July 29th, the Navy has stated that around 15,000 liters of contaminated seawater are properly contained. However, this is still an ongoing effort.
The longer the containment process takes, the higher the risk is to fish and other sea life and the further it can spread.
Currently, the specific cause of the oil spill is unknown. However, but the Chilean Navy is launching a full investigation to uncover the truth.
While it is unconfirmed where the spill originated, the investigation is focusing on the most likely culprit, CAP.
The Guarello Islands are used as a mining base for the company and contain large deposits of limestone.
Due to how remote the islands are, it is unlikely that any other entity is involved and CAP has fully agreed to the Navy’s probe.
How aware the company was to this leak will certainly be uncovered in the investigation.
The statement released by officials specifically called out the impact on rare plants, dolphins, and whales.
When an oil spill first occurs, a layer of oil is visible at the top of the ocean. This prevents any light from entering the contaminated section. It prevents sunlight from reaching plants, which is necessary for them to produce the nutrients they need to survive.
The oil is, of course, toxic to any sea life or plants in the area.
Oil spills are particularly dangerous to dolphins and whales because they must rise the surface of the water to breath. In contaminated water, when they rise up, they will meet a layer of oil instead.
Heavily Polluted Oceans
Unfortunately, oil spills are not as rare as many may think. In 2018, there were 3 large and 3 medium oil spills.
Our oceans are becoming heavily polluted because of humanity’s carelessness and wastefulness.