Oil Spill Update: Ban Might Help Fisheries Recover; Hurricane Predictions; Dolphins and Sea Turtles; Oil Plume Controversy
Here’s a roundup of the latest oil spill news, from the mysterious underwater oil plumes, to BP's recovery advances, to the slick's impact on sea turtles, dolphins, and birds.
Fishing ban might help fisheries recover, expert says
|The Gulf has just been declared a large marine protected area as a result of the spill—no fishing! It is possible that a massive rebound of the fish population will occur because we are not fishing them. If the fishing is discontinued for a month or two, or a season, we may see massive changes in the Gulf.|
Several scientists are worried that a hurricane could drive oil inland, soiling beaches and wetlands and pushing polluted water up river estuaries.
"My 'oh, no' thought is that a hurricane would pick up that oil and move it, along with salt, up into interior regions of the state that I am convinced the oil will not reach otherwise," said Robert Twilley, an oceanographer at Louisiana State University. "The bottom line is, how much oil are we going to get into our wetlands? We don't know," he said. "This thing is gushing out in these huge numbers."
This is a time of year when dead or debilitated turtles would normally begin to show up with greater frequency, but the 156 found since April 30 along the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida "are in higher numbers than you would expect," Ziccardi said. None of the animals had obvious signs of oil contamination. But, because of their proximity to the spill, they are being treated as possible victims of the crude oil that has been gushing from the ruptured wellhead since April 20, he said.
The 12 confirmed dead dolphin strandings along the same four Gulf Coast states, Ziccardi said, were "more or less in line" with what would normally be found for the same period of time without an oil spill.
BP’s recovery efforts
Heavy drilling fluids are injected into the well to stem the flow of oil and gas, followed by cement to seal the well. Most of the equipment is on site and preparations continue for this operation, with a view to deployment in the next week or so. Options have also been developed to potentially combine this with the injection under pressure of a variety of materials into the BOP to seal off upward flow.