Tom Philpott
July 8, 2010

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t
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The inevitable has happened. From a McLatchy article:

University scientists have spotted the first indications oil is entering the Gulf seafood chain — in crab larvae — and one expert warns the effect on fisheries could last “years, probably not a matter of months” and affect many species.

Of course, oil in crab larvae means oil in any fish that feed on crab larvae — a first step of hydrocarbons concentrating up the food chain, from little drops in little fish to big drops in big fish. And that’s not the only way Gulf sea life will come into contact with BP’s spilled oil, as veteran fishery expert Harriet Perry tells McLatchey. She says plankton feeders like menhaden will “just take it in,” making it available for their predators. She adds:

We have also just started seeing it on the fins of small, larval fish — their fins were encased in oil. That limits their mobility, so that makes them easy prey for other species. The oil’s going to get into the food chain in a lot of ways.

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