Friday, July 9, 2010

What will get #sick from the slick? - #gulf #coast #wildlife: #fish, #sea turtles, #whale sharks, #tuna, #sperm whales

Melissa Gaskill reported as follows in Nature News:

Far from the tar-coated beaches and clean-up crews seen on nightly news programmes, the Deepwater Horizon disaster is exacting an ongoing and largely unknown toll. In the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico, floating oil slicks and subsurface plumes threaten a highly diverse ecosystem. According to a 2009 inventory by the Harte Research Institute (HRI) for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi, the area around the ill-fated rig hosts 1,728 species, among them whale sharks, tarpon, tuna, sea turtles and sperm whales. With no end in sight for the spill, researchers are now struggling to understand the scope and nature of the damage to deep-ocean ecosystems through some of the Gulf's largest residents.



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