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Chemical spills on ocean waters caused alarming threats to biodiversity and human health. The world first woke up to the disaster of an oil spill when on 18 March 1967 a Liberian tanker, Terry Canyon, ran ground on the southwest coast of Great Britain, near the entrance to the English Channel, spilling 60,000 tons of crude oil into the sea. Oil splattered on to 160 km. of coastline killing fish and birds. Spills can be dealt with more easily if they are confined to a small area on the water surface. For this mechanical booms or barriers are spread around an oil slick to check its progress and prevent it from hitting the shoreline.
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