Oil Pollution of the Ocean

  • Max Blumer
Part of the Ocean Technology book series (OCTC)


Oil pollution is the almost inevitable consequence of the dependence of a rapidly growing population on a largely oil-based technology. The oil reserves which have accumulated in the earth during the last 500 million years are being depleted rapidly and will be exhausted within a few hundred years. The use of oil or of other natural resources without losses is impossible; losses occur in production, transportation, refining and use. The immediate effects of large scale spills in coastal areas are well known but only through the recent introduction of marine surface sampling tools have we become aware of the degree of oil pollution of the open ocean. Thus, during a recent cruise of R/V CHAIN of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to the southern Sargasso Sea, many surface “Neuston” net hauls were made to collect surface marine organisms. These tows were made between 32°N – 23°N latitude (corresponding to a distance of 630 miles) at a longitude of 67°W. Inevitably, during each tow, quantities of oil-tar lumps, up to 3 inches in diameter were caught in the nets.


Marine Organism Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Marine Food Chain Olefinic Hydrocarbon Present Grant 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1969

Authors and Affiliations

  • Max Blumer
    • 1
  1. 1.Woods Hole Oceanographic InstitutionWoods HoleUSA

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