No short- or long-term effects of burned oil residue on Northern shrimp larvae

05.11.2021

These are the main findings in a recent scientific publication in Marine Environmental Research. 

As part of the oil on water (OOW) verification process  Norwegian Clean Seas Association for Operating Companies (NOFO) and Norwegian Coastal Administration have performed in situ burning (ISB) field trials in the North Sea. In situ burning is a method to combat oil spills at sea to reduce the environmental effect.  In collaboration with NORCE (Norwegian Research Centre) oil and residue from the ISB field trials were used to study the short- and long-term effects on shrimp larvae.

Burned oil is less harmful  than crude oil

The experiment was performed at the NORCE laboratory at Mekjarvik, Norway. For the experiments, an equal amount of  ISB residue and crude oil was added to sea water. The shrimps were exposed to the solution for four days and then transferred to clean seawater for two weeks.

It was measured fewer harmful substances in the water with ISB residue than crude oil.

There were no acute effects on mortality, development, feeding, or growth for shrimp larvae that were exposed to water-soluble components from the residue. However, exposure to crude oil increased the mortality but had no effects on development, feeding, or growth within two weeks after the exposure was terminated. 

The results from this study can be used for both environmental risk and emergency response analyses. In addition, the results may be used operationally when evaluating spill mitigating measures based on environmental impact.

There were also performed experiments on adult shrimps and the findings will be published in a separate publication.

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NOFO and ArcEx (The Research Centre for Arctic Petroleum Exploration) financed this research.

For further information please contact Frode Engen (fe@nofo.no) and Ingrid C. Taban (ict@nofo.no ).