Oil dispersants a threat to Gulf breeding grounds, fishery experts say, Palm Beach Post, July 25, 2010:
[The Gulf is home to] many small forage fish such as menhaden... "Almost all of the small forage species are filter feeders," said Bob Shipp, head of the marine sciences department at the University of South Alabama. "They swim through the water and use their gill filaments to trap food particles. If there are oil particles in the water, as they swim through to feed they're going to accumulate oil on their gill filaments as well. This is very likely to be lethal.
"We're adamantly opposed to using dispersants," he said. "It doesn't destroy the oil. It doesn't remove the oil. It leaves it in the water column, where it can do a lot of damage to all the ecosystem habitats beneath the surface.
Experts: Submerged oil threatens organisms, Press-Register, August 28, 2010:
For effect, [Dauphin Island Sea Lab Director George Crozier] showed a slide of an anchovy, its mouth open and ringed with oil-like chocolate and its gill rakers coated as if it were a child who had gotten into chocolate.
“The anchovy swims through the water mouth agape, gill rakers out picking up tiny particles of food — well tiny particles of oil also,” Shipp said. “And it’s most likely that if an anchovy swims through any of that oil mass that it’s going to be fatal.” Ditto for menhaden, he said.
Reports from over the weekend: