Shocking Fish Kill Reported In Plaquemines Parish (PHOTO)

Shocking Fish Kill Reported In Plaquemines Parish (PHOTO)

Over at The Upshot, National Affairs Reporter and Louisiana native Brett Michael Dykes has some shocking photos of a massive fish kill that Plaquemines Parish Billy Nungesser has been distributing to the media. Dykes ably sets the scene: "What you see above isn't a rural gravel road. It's a Louisiana waterway, its surface completely covered with dead sea life -- a mishmash of species of fish, crabs, stingray and eel."

Fish kills are fairly common along the Gulf Coast, particularly during the summer in the area near the mouth of the Mississippi, the site of this kill. The area is rife with dead zones -- stretches where sudden oxygen depletion can cause widespread death. But those kills tend to be limited to a single species of fish, rather than the broad sort of die-off involved in this kill.

A lot of lipservice gets paid to how finely-tuned and delicately balanced the Gulf Coast ecosystem is, but this incident hits at the truth of this -- and it involves those heroic oil-eating microbes: "Many scientists have feared that an influx of oil-eating microbes would lead to more Gulf Coast dead zones, since the microbes use large amounts of oxygen when they consume the oil particles produced by chemical dispersants."

Dykes has more at The Upshot, so go read the whole thing.

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