Thursday, June 22, 2017

Atlantic Oil Surveys Could Kill Food Used by Fisheries

The Atlantic Ocean off Delaware. (Credit: Katie Wheeler/flickr) Click to Enlarge.
The microscopic animals that provide food for fisheries face previously unknown threats along America’s southern and eastern seaboards, and in oceans elsewhere, with new research warning of the potential for heavy impacts from oil surveys that blast noise into the sea.

Scientists in the Australian island state of Tasmania have added krill larvae and other plankton to the growing list of animals known to be affected by airguns trawled behind ships in search of oil reserves, earthquake faults and other buried features.

The Trump administration is moving to allow these seismic surveys from Delaware to Florida ahead of anticipated oil drilling, which had been blocked by the Obama administration.  Such surveys are underway in the Gulf Coast and could precede any new drilling along coastlines in the U.S. and abroad.

There has so far been a “striking” lack of research into how airguns affect plankton, said University of Tasmania scientist Jayson Semmens.  “Most of the work is done on whales.”

Read more at Atlantic Oil Surveys Could Kill Food Used by Fisheries

No comments:

Post a Comment