Oil from the Deepwater Horizon incident and the chemical dispersants applied during response efforts affected many ecologically and economically important fish species in the Gulf of Mexico.
Scientists synthesized data from 53 peer-reviewed laboratory studies that investigated how Deepwater Horizon oil may affect 20 ray-fin fish species.
Scientists Seek In-the-Wild Fish Response to Oil Exposure – NOVEMBER 5, 2019 Much research takes place in laboratories where scientists can carefully control and manipulate conditions, but the results only tell part of a story. The next step is learning how laboratory findings play out in the real world. That’s what scientists are doing by…
Following Deepwater Horizon, there was concern about how the oil spill might affect marine life. Since then, scientists have learned more about how polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) affect marine organisms, especially commercially and recreationally important fisheries.
Scientists analyzed effects from non-weathered source oil (collected directly over the Deepwater Horizon wellhead) and weathered slick oil (collected from surface skimming) on the microRNAs of mahi-mahi embryos.
Researchers conducted swim tests on Gulf of Mexico Cobia fish to investigate potential impacts from oil exposure.
Many fish that were exposed to Deepwater Horizon oil survived; however, they may have experienced later-in-life impacts that affected their ability to survive longer than fish that did not experience oil exposure.
Sharing science can be lots of fun, especially during events that have a light-hearted atmosphere where people gather for a good time. This past year, researchers and outreach staff from consortia funded by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative participated in a variety of events to share ocean and marine science that’s being used to study the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Researchers conducted experiments on Atlantic Croaker to determine if oil-induced respiratory impairment affects the fish’s tolerance to hypoxia. There were no observed effects from the combined stressors (oil exposure and hypoxia) on fish’s average critical oxygen threshold levels or its capacity to withstand hypoxia.
Laboratory studies at the University of Miami suggest that exposure to Deepwater Horizon oil may have negatively affected heart function in mahi-mahi, reducing their ability to swim efficiently. Lela Schlenker is expanding that research to investigate if and how oil exposure alters the way mahi-mahi migrate and respond to predators and prey in the wild.