How Will the BP Oil Spill Affect Critically Endangered Bluefin Tuna?

Bluefin tuna image

Photo: NOAA

Potentially Serious Long-Term Impacts

The Gulf of Mexico, where a massive oil spill is taking place right now, is also the spawning ground for the critically endangered (according to the IUCN Red List) bluefin tuna. Stocks have already fallen about 90% since the 1970s, and they could fall even closer to extinction because of this catastrophe. Indeed, the location of the spill and the timing are particularly bad for the bluefin tuna...
noaa oil spill gulf water photo
Photo: NOAA
Many fish are going down to the Gulf to spawn," said Jackie Savitz, a marine biologist with Oceana, an international conservation group based in Washington.

"The larvae of the fish is actually the most sensitive life stage to the toxic effects of oil. And one fish that's spawning right now down there is the bluefin tuna." (source)

The spill is right on top of one of the preferred breeding areas. And tuna isn't the only species that is at risk. This is a good reminder that while we must protect the shores from the spill, water ecosystems are also facing very serious damage that could take a long time to be repaired (if ever, in the case of species that are moving toward extinction).

More on the BP Oil Spill
Rush Limbaugh on the BP Oil Spill: "It's as natural as the ocean water is."
BP Gulf Oil Spill Cheat Sheet: A Timeline of Unfortunate Events
Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill: The What, When and Where ...and What You Can Do to Help

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