Oil Spill Impacts on Fish and Aquatic Invertebrates

Stig Nygaard

Oil affects fish and aquatic invertebrates (including oysters and shrimp) through surface exposure, ingestion, absorption and — in the long term — by changing their ecosystem.

Eggs and larvae of many species are killed when exposed to oil, lowering the spawning success of the species. If species survive exposure, they can lose their ability to fight off disease. Fin erosion, enlarged livers, increased heart rates and other physical effects can occur in fish.

Species At Risk:

  • Yellowfin tuna
  • Blue tuna
  • Sharks
  • Blue crabs
  • Oysters
  • Shrimp

Get Our E-Newsletter 
Read our Report
Five Years and Counting, a report by the National Wildlife Federation