The effect of the Banton 300 oil-spill accident on marine life in Umm Al-Quwain in the Arabian Gulf (northern United Arab Emirates)

  • Hamed A. El-Serehy Department of Marine Science, Faculty of Science, Suez Canal University, Ismailia, Egypt
  • Maitha M. Al-Darmaky Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, UAE University, Al-Ain, UAE
Keywords: oil pollution, Arabian Gulf, UAE, marine organ


This study reports on the effects of the accidental spillage of 10,000 tons of Iranian crude oil that resulted from the sinking of the oil tanker “Banton 300” during January 1998, 5 miles from Umm Al-Quwain on the Arabian Gulf. The oil slick spread to cover a huge area of the coastal waters and shores of the United Arab Emirates, with a total length of about 15 km and total width of about 30-50 m. Different effects of oil on marine organisms of Umm Al-Quwain are categorized as: direct lethal toxicity (diatoms, sponges, acorn barnacles, copepods, echinoderms and fish); sub-lethal disruption of physiological and/or behavioural activities (bacterioplankton, heterotrophic flagellates, and tintinnid ciliates); effects of direct coating (birds and mangroves); incorporation of hydrocarbons in organisms (crabs, scallops, edible mussels, large fish and plants), which may cause tainting and/or accumulation of hydrocarbons in food chains, and finally changes in microhabitats (amphipods and worms), especially alteration of substrate characteristics.
KEY WORDS: oil pollution, Arabian Gulf, UAE, marine organisms
Egyptian Journal of Botany Vol.5 2003: 120-128

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eISSN: 1110-6859