Top marine scientist: Generations of filter-feeders could be lost — “Basically every species” in Gulf spends time as filter-feeder, including newborn BLUEFIN TUNA

Sunday, August 29, 2010
By Paul Martin
August 28th, 2010

Experts: Submerged oil threatens organisms, Press-Register, August 28, 2010:

Robert Shipp, chairman of the University of South Alabama’s Marine Sciences Department [and a colleague] said during a Friday night lecture at USA’s Fairhope campus that by suspending bits of oil in the water column, generations of filter-feeding organisms could be lost in portions of the northern Gulf. …

[A]n anchovy [is shown to the crowd] its mouth open and ringed with oil-like chocolate and its gill rakers coated as if it were a child who had gotten into chocolate. “The anchovy swims through the water mouth agape, gill rakers out picking up tiny particles of food — well tiny particles of oil also,” Shipp said. “And it’s most likely that if an anchovy swims through any of that oil mass that it’s going to be fatal.” …

Same, too, for larval red drum and snapper. Even the newborn of deepwater species like bluefin tuna could be affected. “What we’re concerned about is, basically every species in the Gulf of Mexico has some phase in its life cycle when its a filter-feeder,” Shipp said.

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