Bioremediation of marine oil spills

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Bioremediation is a potentially important option for dealing with marine oil spills. Oil-degrading microorganisms are indigenous to the world's oceans, but environmental constraints limit their activity and so a bioremediation strategy must be tailored to local conditions. While an oil slick is at sea, its biodegradation is likely to be surface-area limited and can be stimulated by employing dispersants. However, if oil reaches a shoreline, alternative options are needed. The addition of fertilizer nutrients has been successful in stimulating oil biodegradation in oligotrophic conditions, and suggests opportunities for designing alternative strategies for other environments.




Prince, R. C. (1997). Bioremediation of marine oil spills. Trends in Biotechnology, 15(5), 158–160.

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