Oil spills are not just major oil spill catastrophes caused by oil transporting ships. These major oil spills actually represent about 10 % of all the oil being spilled in the oceans, while most of the oil spills are a result of the constant unintentional leaking, or intentional dumping, of oil in our oceans and rivers.
The Baltic Sea and the Kvarken archipelago are, due to their sensitive and unique ecosystem, especially vulnerable to oil spills and the oil tend to stay in the water system for a long time in the, which causes great damage on organisms and their habitats. For example, the oil can get in the feathers of birds, which impedes their abilities to fly. It might also prevent vegetation from growing since the oil can cover the plants and block out sunlight. The toxic substances can also cause cell damage and impeded growth.
Lundberg, C. et al (2012). Undervattensmiljö i Norra Östersjön – Viktigt att tänka på vid havsnära planering. Närings-, trafik- och miljöcentralen, Helsingfors.
Effekter av oljeutsläpp på Östersjöns natur- Sanering och skydd av naturvärden i Östersjön. Broschyren har gjorts som ett samarbete mellan projekten OILRISK och NANNUT.
Oil and chemical pollution (ym.fi)