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Posts Tagged ‘Deepwater Horizon oil spill’

Gulf of Mexico: 10cm layer of dead animals and oil

Posted by feww on February 21, 2011

NO SIGN OF SEALIFE

Deepwater Horizon oil leak “devastated” life on and near the seafloor:  Marine scientist

A research submersible discovered a 10cm thick layer of dead animals and oil in places, said Samantha Joye, a marine scientist  at the University of Georgia.

It’s implausible that the Gulf of Mexico will recover by the end of 2012, she said disputing BP’s assessment, a report said.

“Knocking these animals out of the food chain will, in time, affect species relevant to fisheries.”

Professor Joye told the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference in Washington that it may be a decade before the full effects on the Gulf are apparent.

She said they concluded the layers had been deposited between June and September 2010 after it was discovered that no sign of sealife from samples taken in May remained.

Professor Joye and her team, using the Alvin submersible,  examined the bottom-most layer of the water close to the well head, known as the benthos.

“The impact on the benthos was devastating,” she told BBC News.

“Filter-feeding organisms, invertebrate worms, corals, sea fans – all of those were substantially impacted – and by impacted, I mean essentially killed.

“Another critical point is that detrital feeders like sea cucumbers, brittle stars that wander around the bottom, I didn’t see a living (sea cucumber) around on any of the wellhead dives. They’re typically everywhere, and we saw none.” More…

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