Recovery of a subtropical rocky shore is not yet complete, four years after a moderate sized oil spill
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Little is known about the recovery trajectory from small to moderate spills (<1000 t), particularly in the sub-tropics. On 11 March 2009 the MV Pacific Adventurer spilt 270 t of bunker fuel oil 13 km off Moreton Island, Australia, impacting wetlands, sandy beaches and rocky shores. This study examines the recovery of the rocky shore community four years after the spill. Results indicate that recovery on Moreton Island is taking longer than the 3-4 years suggested by the literature. The upper shore is recovering faster than the mid shore and is nearly recovered while the mid shore is still in the recovery process. These results indicate that small to moderate sized spills can have environmental impacts on par with much larger spills and emphasizes the need for a clear definition of a recovery endpoint. Long term studies are required to gain a full understanding of trajectories of recovery after oil spill impacts.
Marine Pollution Bulletin
Environmental Impact Assessment