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Oil spills in the world are considered more detrimental to the environment than it is to other factors such as the economy. This is largely unfair because the effects it has on the environment are somehow directly or indirectly connected to economic impacts. Governments affected by the oil spills always have their fair share of criticism from environmental watchdogs than they do from economists; this is what has lead to the misperception.
Loss of oil in the event of an oil spill has in itself economic impact. Oil is used in many sectors of economy for instance, transport, manufacturing; therefore losing oil to an oil spill jeopardizes the operations of these industries hence can lead to severe hindrances to the economy. This also depends on how much oil is spilt since the higher amount of oil spill, the greater the economic impact.
In another impact closely related to environmental impacts, oil spills hugely affect the fishing industry of a country. Many fishermen incur losses when oil spills in the water body lead to death of aquatic life forms of importance to the people in the economy. The suffocation of these aquatic animals due to the contamination of water leads to serious economic impacts to the fishermen who depend on this business for livelihood. This also cuts the supply to not only the consumers but also the middlemen who gain in the fish market.
Clean-up of oil spills in a water body costs dearly hence economically affecting the specific country. This too depend on the extent of the spill summoning massive financial response thus leaving a gap in whatever the money could have been used for. The manpower and technology used in this process is very expensive therefore the government spends a lot of money that could have otherwise been used to improve on other sectors of the economy. Coastal areas which are more susceptible to oil spills practice mostly marine tourism therefore whenever there is an oil spill, this economic activity will be really affected since animas in marine parks will succumb to the contamination thus compromising the proceeds they get from tourism. This also restricts activities such as swimming, sun bathing, and surfing; by holiday takers, forcing the authorities to get huge losses.
Seawater is important in a number of sectors such as desalination and hydroelectric power plants therefore oil spill seriously hold back these plants operations leading to inevitable consequences to the economy that is obviously negative. Countries with much dependence on desalinated water from the sea will have most of their industries come to a standstill or rather serious interference in the occurrence of an oil spill. Industries producing products, some very basic will suffer hence the effects will be felt not only by the producers but also the whole chain of production down to the consumer.
Harbors and ports are important areas where sea transported goods are delivered back to the land. Oil spills will hinder the sea navigation leading to delays hence incurrence of losses. The spills may also cause closure of seaports and harbors for cleanup hence affecting the deliverance of goods. In the case of an oil spill at the port, it does not stay there and can spread over a wide area due to waves and wind thus continuing to affect other areas widening the economic impacts such as on the fish industry and tourism.
These impacts are on the economy compromises largely the positive strides in the alleviation of poverty and improvement of livelihoods therefore all the people concerned should handle the sea vessels carefully to avoid the disaster that is more economic than ecological as it has been widely perceived before. In the event of oil spill, safer was of cleaning up should be adopted instead of using more toxic substances in the cleanup process that will only aggravate the situation.