BP Spill Could Have Devastating Impact on Tarpon

June 17, 2010 By: Marshall Cutchin

To my mind, one of the most puzzling oversights has been the absence of any discussion of the possible effects of the BP oil disaster on the reproduction of fish. (Oil-soaked pelicans provide a more immediate TV ratings boost than scientific conjecture about massive destruction at the microinvertebrate level.) But in reality, the greatest threat to the sport and commercial fishing industries and the states that depend on them is not oil blobs splattered across beaches, but what may be happening to future generations of fish because of the spill’s impact on species like tarpon, that are believed to spawn far offshore.
Joe Overlock comments this morning: “The current theory is that Tarpon spawn more than 100 miles offshore (where they have no protection from harvesting due to international water, by the way) and data from the tags shows that they will make deep dives up to 400 feet during this spring time spawn. This oil spill is perfectly overlapping their spawning time.”