Home > Man-Made Disasters, Pestilence > Gulf of Mexico Anglers Pulling in Red Snappers That Don’t Look Like Anything They’ve Seen Before

Gulf of Mexico Anglers Pulling in Red Snappers That Don’t Look Like Anything They’ve Seen Before


By Craig Pittman – “A year after the Deepwater Horizon disaster spewed oil into the Gulf of Mexico, the Florida beaches are relatively clean, the surf seems clear and the tourists are returning. But there are signs that the disaster is continuing to affect marine life in the gulf far from where humans can observe it.

Over the winter, anglers who had been working the gulf for decades began hauling in red snapper that didn’t look like anything they had seen before.

The fish had dark lesions on their skin, some the size of a 50-cent piece. On some of them, the lesions had eaten a hole straight through to the muscle tissue. Many had fins that were rotting away and discolored or even striped skin. Inside, they had enlarged livers, gallbladders, and bile ducts.

‘The fish have a bacterial infection and a parasite infection that’s consistent with a compromised immune system,’ said Jim Cowan, an oceanographer at Louisiana State University, who has been examining them. ‘There’s no doubt it’s associated with a chronic exposure to a toxin.'”  Read more.

  1. Kurt J.
    04/18/2011 at 1:03 AM

    This one says the Gulf is nearly back to normal! http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110418/ap_on_sc/us_sci_gulf_survival

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  2. ICA
    04/18/2011 at 9:45 AM

    I think that link is titled incorrectly judging from the picture painted towards the end.

    “‘Everything may be fine in some places, but definitely not fine everywhere,’ said University of Georgia researcher Samantha Joye who found dead patches of oiled sea bottom in expeditions near the busted well where 11 men lost their lives. ‘The oil isn’t gone; it’s just not where we can see it.’

    Joye said before the oil spill she would have given the sea floor an ‘A’ grade of 90. Now she gives it a 30. Overall, Joye, who has been one of the more hands-on researchers exploring Gulf damage, said its health has plunged from an 80 before the spill to a 50 now…

    Florida State University oceanographer Ian MacDonald warned his fellow scientists to be on the watch for deaths of big marine mammals. That was in October. Since January, 155 young or fetal dolphins and small whales have washed up on Gulf beaches — more than four times the typical number — according to NOAA.

    A new study estimates that for every dead dolphin that washes ashore there are 50 dolphins that are never found. That suggests more than 7,500 dolphin deaths the first three months of this year alone.

    Blair Mase, NOAA’s marine mammal stranding coordinator, says dolphin deaths began to rise in February 2010 — before the BP spill. That slowed in November, but in January dolphins began dying at a much faster rate, higher than before the spill…

    It’s not just dolphins that are dying. NOAA reports in the first few months of this year, 141 endangered sea turtles were stranded _a higher than normal number. On top of that, Monty Graham, a researcher at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab in Alabama, noticed fewer jellyfish last year.

    ‘We are looking at how the food web could have shifted in general,’ Graham said. ‘We think we have growing evidence that the system shifted and became starved for food’ for larger sea animals.'”

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  3. Kurt J.
    04/18/2011 at 10:12 AM

    Maybe the title of the article captured what the author wanted the situation to be–that almost hardly ever happens in journalism! ;-)

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  4. ICA
    04/18/2011 at 10:25 AM

    No kidding!

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