“A failed year classes” of shrimp or menhaden “could be catastrophic” — 1 ppb of PAHs damaged fish eggs

Deepwater Horizon: After the oil, Nature.com, September 1, 2010:


Exposure to PAHs early in an organism’s life cycle can also lead to infertility and a host of developmental problems, says Jeffrey Short, an environmental chemist based in Juneau, Alaska… was working for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in 1989 [for]… the Exxon Valdez…

Results from laboratory studies showed that as little as one part per billion of PAHs can damage pink salmon eggs and that similar concentrations affect herring eggs

[A]nimals that live for just one to three years, including shrimp and menhaden, could be knocked flying. “A failed year class for a couple of years in a row could dramatically reduce their populations for a while,” says James Cowan, an oceanographer at LSU, in whose lab [Kim de Mutsert, a postdoctoral coastal ecologist from Louisiana State University] works. “It could be catastrophic for both the populations and the community of people that relies on them.”

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