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Moreton Bay Oil Spill
Transcript of Moreton Bay Oil Spill
The effect of the Moreton Bay Oil Spill on the Food Web of the turtle.
By Alexis Downie, Lauren Aubrey & Sophie Morrison
11th of March, 2009
The affected areas of
the oil spill were
all the way from Point Arkwright to just down past Bribie Island, as well as the Moreton Island coast
line. The 'Pacific
Adventurer' was about 10 miles off the coast of Moreton Island at the time of the spill.
At the same time as the transporting of the ammonium nitrate, Tropical Cyclone Hamish was moving down the Queensland coastline. This cyclone caused the ship to roll violently and 31 containers of ammonium nitrate from the 'Pacific Adventurer' fell overboard. Due to this, the containers punctured the number 1, fuel tank which caused 31 tonnes of fuel oil to leak from the vessel. This incident was an accident and not deliberate.
The Macroalgae and the Coral are producers in this food web. The dugongs, mud crabs, starfish, whiting and the loggerhead sea turtles being first order consumers. Dugongs are also the tertiary consumers as well as the bull shark. The Snapper, Blue Bubbler Jelly Fish and the Loggerhead Sea Turtle are the secondary consumer.
We predict that the short-term consequences were that there was less macroalgae and coral because the chemicals from the spill killed those creatures. If the producers are decreasing that affected the whole food web as there was not enough food for all the other animals in Moreton Bay. Secondly, all fish that came in contact with the oil, possibly would have not survived as the oil would kill them buy coating them in oil. In addition, some of the fish had all of their only food source degenerated which would also have consequences on the food web.
We predict that the long-term consequences were that it took a long time for the macroalgae etc. to come back to the levels before the incident as it regenerates naturally slowly. Secondly, marine life moved away as there was less food in the area and due to this they moved to other areas to survive, leaving their predators also looking for food forcing them to move away as well.
ABC. (2009, March 23). Oil spill off Queensland. Retrieved from ABC News: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2009-03-12/oil-spill-off-queensland/1617536
BBC. (2009, March 14). Australia Spill '10 times worse'. Retrieved from BBC News: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7943392.stm
Calligeros, M. (2009, March 11). Oil spills from cargo ship into Moreton Bay. Retrieved from Brisbane Times: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/news/queensland/oil-spills-from-ship/2009/03/11/1236447253484.html
Catchments, S. (n.d.). Moreton Bay Oil Bay. Retrieved from SEQ Catchment: http://www.seqcatchments.com.au/case-studies/moreton-bay-oil-spill-environmental-restoration-program-environmental-recovery-and-community-engagem
SMH. (2009, March 13). Oil spiil to hit food chain. Retrieved from Sydney Morning Herald: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/oil-spill-to-hit-food-chain-20090313-8xnk.html Bazley, N. (2009, March 17). Behind the News. Retrieved from ABC: http://www.abc.net.au/btn/story/s2515241.htm
Wight, A. (2009, March 27). Queensland got it right: Exxon investigator. Retrieved from Ausfish: http://www.ausfish.com.au/vforum/showthread.php/147665-Queensland-Government-Got-It-Right-Oil-Spill-Response?s=e89c26db5366cbeb416299573b44da71
The oil spill had an impact on the turtles because most of their food supply was poisoned or killed by the oil. This included the prey of the turtle - coral, whiting, snapper, macroalgae and blue blubber jellyfish. The oil spill had a major impact on the turtle's food web because it led the turles to having not enough healthy food in area of the spill. Due to this, some impacted turtles became sick.
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