Scientists to see if oil spill hurt deep sea life

Scientists to see if oil spill hurt deep sea life (AP)
This Sept. 2010 photo provided by Discovre Team 2010 shows deep sea corals on the bottom of the northern Gulf of Mexico, not far from where BP's underwater oil well blew out on April 20. Scientists are studying whether the crude damaged the corals or will lead to long-term impacts. (AP Photo/Discovre Team 2010)

(AP) -- A team of scientists are leaving on a research cruise to see if the BP oil spill hurt deep-sea coral and organisms that live around natural oil and gas seeps in the Gulf of Mexico.

It's counterintuitive, but scientists say an oil spill could hurt organisms such as tube worms and that eat oil, gas and gushing from natural oil and gas seeps. That's because these organisms can die if oil settles on them from above.

The biologists and geoscientists aboard the Gyre research vessel will tow a cage with a high-resolution digital still camera and take photographs of the depths. The vessel is expected to leave Friday from Texas.

The study is being led by geophysicist Bill Shedd of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.


Explore further

Greenpeace to launch expedition to probe BP oil spill impact

©2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Citation: Scientists to see if oil spill hurt deep sea life (2010, October 29) retrieved 31 July 2021 from https://phys.org/news/2010-10-scientists-oil-deep-sea-life.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
0 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments