Aquatic life dying in Gulf mystery

Sep 01, 2005

Researchers are looking for answers as aquatic life dies in the "dead zone" moving through the southeastern Gulf of Mexico.

The Naples (Fla.) Daily News reports animals and plant life are dying as oxygen depleted water travels south down Florida's coast.

Divers and fishermen say they have found dead coral and sponges that crumble when they are touched, dead crabs on the ocean floor and fish floating on the surface.

Experts have many theories about the mysterious devastation that is estimated at covering more than 2,000 square miles of the Gulf of Mexico.

A red tide that carries with it toxic algae has been spotted and is thought to be linked to the release of freshwater from Lake Okeechobee into the Gulf.

Cindy Heil of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said Hurricane Katrina may have moved the water enough to trap a collection of the red tide in a certain area.

As for the lack of oxygen in parts of the water, Heil said a warmer than average surface water could limit oxygen movement in the cool waters at the bottom of the ocean.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Birth of a radio phoenix

Related Stories

Ocean 'dead zones' a growing disaster for fish

Apr 09, 2015

Falling ocean oxygen levels due to rising temperatures and influence from human activities such as agrochemical use is an increasingly widespread problem. Considering that the sea floors have taken more than 1,000 years to recover from past eras of low ox ...

Recommended for you

The view from up there, down here

2 hours ago

When many people saw the first stunning photos of the fragile blue marble of Earth from space, it changed their outlook of humanity. It was a singular moment in time when people around the world were watching ...

The weird ways fire behaves in space (w/ Video)

4 hours ago

Light a match on earth and you can expect the flame to shoot up in a tapering bulb. But light that match in space and you might not even recognize the small, blue orb at the tip. That's because fire behaves ...

Brian Schmidt discusses the fast-firing universe

5 hours ago

In 1998, a team led by a former Harvard graduate student shocked the astrophysics world by publishing results that said the expansion of the universe, believed to be gradually slowing, was instead accelerating.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.