It is difficult to assess the impact of the oil spill unless data are gathered on field. It would help a lot if prior data on various parameters such as water quality, species diversity, density, affected fishing and related activities etc. are available so we can compare this with post data during and after the spill. By doing this we can measure the damage and impact of the oil spill, and probably demand compensation for the damages. I am hoping that there is a group already doing this - so the people will know the extent of the damage.
Based on other oil spill study, and other experiences, the following are the additional impacts I could think of taken from various sources:
1. Large hydrocarbon concentrations in sediment are toxic to many organisms and may cause widespread mortality.
2. Oil spill may change community composition at various taxonomic levels, and probably extinction to some fragile species.
3. Miller in 1999 observed in the technical background paper entitled Exxon Valdez Oil Spill: Ten Years Later that “To the naked eye, Prince William Sound may appear ‘normal.’ But if you look beneath the surface, oil continues to contaminate beaches, national parks, and designated wilderness.”
4. Analysis of massive oil spill impact on the fisheries in the middle east revealed a drastic decline in fish and shrimp stocks.
5. Comparison of "same-site" tissue samples of clams in the middle east provided strong evidence of bioaccumulation of oil-related metals (e.g., cadmium, cobalt, nickel, vanadium and chromium). Concentrations increased with clam size and proximity to the source of the oil spill.
6. From number 5, we can speculate bioaccumalation, and magnification of these metals on humans once these clams are consumed by people (dito sa Pilipinas, we eat almost anything, diba?).
7. Oil spill may disrupt reproduction and spawning habits of various marine organisms resulting in decline of fish stocks among other marine organisms.
Nagbibiro ka ba? hehehehe. Hairs, although biodegrable, takes a very very long time to degrade. I can speculate this will only delay the various natural processes that could help mitigate the oil spill such as evaporation, photo-oxidation, bacterial degradation and other factors. If we must, I would recommend the ever reliable "bunot" of our coconuts - this at least would degrade in months, and not decades.
Buhok daw? Ako, yoko magpakalbo ha, hehehe.