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Smith 3

Kennedy, 2010). Another thing that occurs, though it is not stated explicitly in the available research materials, is that oil spills can destroy the food chain and this causes nutritional deficiencies that, in turn, cause lowered reproduction rates. Again, such a phenomenon is not stated in great detail in the available literature, but it is certainly hinted at in various online sources ("Gulf of Mexico marine life endangered for generations," n.d.). Last of all, the reproductive process is debilitated because the egg stocks of the marine fishes that are impacted are debilitated. We know from the available research that the toxic mix or sludge from diluted oil or from crude can jeopardize the survival of eggs and larvae (Goldenberg, 2010).

A final short-term impact of an oil spill is that the oil spill will inevitably result in different concentrations of marine species in the affected waters. For instance, there will surely be an increase in inter-tidal algae in the waters because of the death of limpets that graze on the algae (Dicks, 1999). The grim reality is that already-endangered species now become even more vulnerable because the fragile ecosystem is damaged. For example, the bluefin tuna has been in a state of constant decline since the 1970s; its numbers are about one-tenth what they were in that decade and could fall even more sharply because of what the oil spill is doing to the Gulf of Mexico marine environment (Richard, 2010).





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