A team of researchers in Texas, Washington, and Florida looking into the environmental effects of the 2010 British Petroleum Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico have found that young fish exposed to oil swim slower than fish born in clean seawater. According to the results of the study, several species of fish were affected by exposure to oil, including mahi-mahi that swam 37 percent slower when they grew up in an oily environment.
A team of researchers in Texas, Washington, and Florida looking into the environmental effects of the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico have found that young fish exposed to oil swim slower than fish born in clean seawater.
The researchers didn’t use fish taken from the wild in their study.
Instead, they raised fish in clean or oily seawater for a certain amount of time to see how the water quality affected the fish.
Other research suggests the oily conditions affected several species of fish including Bluefin tuna. This latest study focused on young mahi-mahi and found that after a brief initial exposure to an oily environment, they swam 37 percent slower by a few weeks of age.
BP spokesperson Jason Ryan refuted the results of the study saying: "The tests only looked at impacts to fish under one year of age. Even if there had been an effect on a single-year class of such fish, the study does not provide any evidence to show that an effect on that group of fish would have had a population-level impact."
Tuna populations have reportedly plummeted by up to 75 percent over the past 40 years, so any kind of disruption might be devastating to the already shrinking number of fish.