What is a marine ecosystem?
An ecosystem is made up of a group of living (flora and fauna) and non-living things (water, air, solid matters) that interact in a natural environment. A marine ecosystem is characterized by the presence of salt water.
Pollution of marine ecosystems by the petroleum industry
This type of pollution occurs easily because everything is dumped into the sea.
- Atmospheric waste falling as rain while surface waste drains into the sea.
- Three-quarters of wastewaters from factories and other infrastructure directly discharge into the sea without prior treatment.
- Industrial activities in and around marine ecosystems cause serious accidental or deliberate pollution. Common examples include oil slicks, crude oil spills and petroleum rig dock cleaning at sea.
Since 2000, 10 accidents have been recorded at sea, resulting in over 780,000 tons of oil spills!
These accidents are responsible for marine pollution and the disappearance of entire marine ecosystems. We must also remember that these disasters directly affect people, their sources of livelihood and health. Pollution from petroleum products is responsible for loss of resources, reduction in people’s quality of life, and contributes to the disappearance of certain activities such as traditional fishing, an important source of livelihood for hundreds of thousands of people in Senegal.