BP Oil Spill Does Little Harm to Tuna


“The Gulf of Mexico’s bluefin-tuna population is likely to be cut by less than 4% because of the BP oil spill.” Source of caption and photo: online version of the WSJ article quoted and cited below.

(p. A6) Fears that last year’s BP PLC oil spill would decimate the bluefin tuna that spawn in the Gulf of Mexico haven’t played out, with the population of the prized fish likely to be cut by less than 4%, a federal study has concluded.

The oil from the biggest offshore spill in U.S. history covered about one-fifth of the habitat of the Gulf’s recently hatched tuna, and scientists feared that could hammer the future population of the fish.
An analysis based on two different models by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, has concluded that the spill “will likely result in less than a 4% reduction in future spawning biomass” of bluefin tuna in the Gulf.
. . .
Russell Miget, an environmental and seafood quality specialist with Texas A&M University who wasn’t associated with the research, said the tuna study squared with other data suggesting that the impact of the spill on marine life was “less than what people were concerned about at the time of the spill.” Still, “fishery science is not an exact science,” he said.

For the full story, see:
GAUTAM NAIK and NATHAN KOPPEL. “Bluefin Tuna Thrive Despite Oil Spill.” The Wall Street Journal (Tues., December 6, 2011): A6.
(Note: ellipsis added.)
(Note: the online version of the article had the title “Bluefin Tuna Endure After Oil Spill.”)

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