• 4 minutes Oil Price Could Fall To $30 If Global Deal Not Extended
  • 7 minutes Middle East on brink: Oil tankers attacked off Oman
  • 11 minutes CNN:America's oil boom will break more records this year. OPEC is stuck in retreat
  • 14 minutes The Latest: Iranian FM Says US Cannot Expect To ‘Stay Safe’
  • 8 hours The Pope: "Climate change ... doomsday predictions can no longer be met with irony or disdain."
  • 6 hours US Shale Drilling lacks regulatory body.
  • 12 mins Ireland To Ban New Petrol And Diesel Vehicles From 2030
  • 16 hours Coal Boom in Asia is Real and a Long Trend
  • 12 hours The Plastics Problem
  • 2 hours Solar Panels at 26 cents per watt
  • 1 hour Trudeau approves Trans Mountain Pipeline
  • 5 hours Huge UK Gas Discovery
  • 23 hours Hydrogen FTW... Some Day
  • 22 hours As Iran Nuclear Deal Flounders, France Turns To Saudi For Oil
  • 1 day GM Considering Electric Hummer
  • 13 hours The Magic and Wonders of US Shale Supply: Keeping energy price shock minimised: US oil supply keeping lid on prices despite global risks: IEA chief
  • 6 hours OPEC, GEO-POLITICS & OIL SUPPLY & PRICES

Breaking News:

Oil Stabilizes On Small Crude Draw

Alt Text

BP To Take Final Hit On 2010 Disaster

British Petroleum is set to…

Futurity

Futurity

Futurity covers research news from the top universities in the US, UK, Canada and Australia

More Info

Trending Discussions

Fish Embryos Reveal that Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Still Lingers

After the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, crude oil toxicity continued to sicken a sentinel Gulf Coast fish species for at least a year or more, new research shows.

The researchers found that Gulf of Mexico killifish embryos exposed to sediments from oiled locations in 2010 and 2011 show developmental abnormalities, including heart defects, delayed hatching, and reduced hatching success.

Killifish
Killifish exposed to sediments from oiled sites affected by the Deepwater Horizon spill continue to show health defects, three years after the spill. (Credit: Andrew Whitehead/UC Davis)

The killifish is an environmental indicator species, or a “canary in the coal mine,” used to predict broader exposures and health risks.

Related article: Exxon Oil Spill in Arkansas, Keystone Spoiler?

The findings, posted online before publication in Environmental Science and Technology, are part of an ongoing collaborative effort to track the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on Gulf killifish populations in areas of Louisiana that received heavy amounts of oil.

Other species that share similar habitats with the Gulf killifish, such as redfish, speckled trout, flounder, blue crabs, shrimp, and oysters—may be at risk of similar effects.

“These effects are characteristic of crude oil toxicity,” says co-author Andrew Whitehead, an assistant professor of environmental toxicology at University of California, Davis. “It’s important that we observe it in the context of the Deepwater Horizon spill because it tells us it is far too early to say the effects of the oil spill are known and inconsequential. By definition, effects on reproduction and development—effects that could impact populations—can take time to emerge.”

Killifish are abundant in the coastal marsh habitats along the Gulf Coast. Though not fished commercially, they are an important forage fish and a key member of the ecological community. Because they don’t migrate, measurements of their health are indicative of their local environment, making them an ideal subject for study.

The researchers collected Gulf killifish from an oiled site at Isle Grande Terre, Louisiana, and monitored them for measures of exposure to crude oil. They also exposed killifish embryos in the lab to sediment collected from oiled sites at Isle Grande Terre within Barataria Bay in Louisiana.

“Our findings indicate that the developmental success of these fish in the field may be compromised,” says lead author Benjamin Dubansky, who recently earned his Ph.D. from Louisiana State University.

Related article: PERU: Environmental Authorities Get Serious

Whitehead says the report’s findings may predict longer-term impacts to killifish populations. However, oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill showed up in patches, rather than coating the coastline. That means some killifish could have been hit hard by the spill while others were less impacted.

Whitehead says it is possible that some of the healthier, less impacted killifish could buffer the effects of the spill for the population as a whole.

The National Science Foundation, the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, and the National Institutes of Health funded the study.

The researchers, including additional scientists from Louisiana State University and Clemson University, have tracked the impact of the oil on killifish since the Deepwater Horizon spill occurred in April 2010.

By. Kat Kerlin




Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage

Trending Discussions


Leave a comment

Leave a comment





Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News