Most of the oil in the sea does not come from spills. Depending on who you ask, the figures differ, but they tend to agree on the sources and the main culprit. Oil in the sea comes from natural seeps, discharges from ships not in the oil industry, land-based sources (eg engine oil), oil operations (including transport), and atmospheric hydrocarbons. In the studies you will find in the Sources, land-based sources always contribute the most to the oil-based pollution in our seas. Yet, we hear little of this, as the speed and concentration of spills make them more dramatic. Not included in these figures are the land-based chemicals we use to produce food.
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